I, too, knew by the time I was 5 that I was wired very differently from all the other males I encountered. It didn’t matter if they were my peers or adults I knew I wasn’t like them. This was in 1958, and back then the concept of gender identity and sexual identity didn’t exist, much less than the concept that there is no correlation between the two. There were two sexes, and two types of sexual relationships, hetero and homo. The concept that I WAS a girl on the inside never occurred to me, and it wouldn’t because back then girls were supposed to be attracted to men, and I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I also knew by the time I was 6 or 7 what the government did to people convicted of homosexuality. They got sent to so-called hospitals where they were generally fed enough drugs to completely erase their personality, and physical mistreatment like electroshock therapy or worse was common.
I understand now why I haven’t dated in 20 years, and why I was never comfortable either dating or in relationships in the previous 30 years. I was playing a role I wasn’t intended to play, and I was always uncomfortable attempting to maintain the farce.