You raise a number of important issues, so let’s see it we can address at least some of them.
Agreed, the vast majority of folks here are not medical professionals. For those few that are, they would likely avoid diagnoses as you are not a patient and they would have no intimate knowledge of your situation. Perhaps about the best that they can do is steer you to some helpful resources. What members can do is to talk about their experiences, but you might need to do a bit of sifting to separate advice from experience.
Your difficulty in finding resources is a bit surprising considering that you are part of metropolitan Toronto. LOTS of LGBT folks there.
Like many other, I knew that there was something different about me from an early age. By high school/college age, I thought I was gay and those were the feelings that I suppressed for a long time. It wan’t until I was 67 that I began to understand that I was really transgender. I’m now 74.
For a time, I thought I was a crossdresser. However, research revealed some interesting things. Crossdressers tend to have distinct male and female personas. That was never the case for me. Basically I had one persona and it was independent of presentation. The vast majority of crossdressers are heterosexual, but I knew that wasn’t the case for me. On the other hand, I was married to my first wife for 30 years and we had a daughter and a son. My daughter and her husband now have 2 daughters. I’ve been married to my 2nd wife for 18 years, but I knew her for several years before we married. She knows everything about DeeAnn and has been quite supportive.
My basic interests have not changed, but I’ve added a few. I’m a retired mechanical engineer. My career spanned 43 years across only 2 companies. My long term interests are largely technically oriented. I’ve been a motorsports fan since childhood and it covers just about everything from Formula 1 and IndyCar to sports cars, stock cars, drag racing and hydroplanes. The only disciplines that I have not personally attended are motorcycle races, airplane races and drag races, but if TV cars, I’ve seen them all. 8 years ago I built a Hackintosh. It is currently in pieces on the kitchen counter waiting for me to complete its 2nd round of upgrades. Long term interest in mid-century architecture and at one time entertained the idea of wanting to study architecture. Amateur photographer covering Polaroids, 620 roll film, 35mm and now digital. On the other hand, I can watch an F1 race on Sunday mornings while surfing Etsy or Poshmark for silk blouses and dresses. It isn’t a contradiction because what I finally realized s that I have always been the amalgam of male and female likes and dislikes, perspectives and emotions. Because of this, I’ve never felt that I was in the wrong body, so I’ve never felt that I needed to pursue any sort of medical intervention. But, I do present as DeeAnn at least 95% of the time and very few here have ever met Don. Anyway, how you feel is how you feel and no one should attempt to invalidate that.
The socialization part is difficult. We didn’t have mothers, older sisters, grandmothers and aunts coaching us, so largely that is knowledge that we don’t have. Even though we may look as good as Halle Berry or Ann Hathaway, our lack of social skill can out us every time. This come into play in terms of how we sit, how we talk, how deferential we are with others and many other things. I have asked for a separate forum so that we can build a body of information that will be helpful. It will be called Social Transition.
I’ve also asked for a Coming Out forum. Similarly, there is no single place where these posts appear. They are all scattered about. Again, this isn’t a One Size Fits All situation due to the wide variations in our personal circumstances.
Many support groups and therapy services do concentrate on young people. My guess is that finding appropriate services for young people is more difficult so some medical personnel do focus on younger ones since they probably don’t have their own insurance and finances.
In terms of resources, have you checked the Psychology Today web site? They maintain a database of therapists including their specialties, types of services offered, pricing, etc.
Finally, thanks for completing your Profile page. I often have to remind people, but it is important. All threads eventually sink to the bottom of the pile and get archived. They still exist, but you have to search for the. By contrast, your page will always be readily available and can be update at any time.