I am 3 years into HRT and have been living as female gender for 2 years, but I consider and refer to myself as transgender and always will, even after having bottom surgery (hopefully, some day). This is my own personal feeling and not a judgement on anyone else, but I feel in my case that I love and respect women too much to try to claim that I am just like them. I grew up as a male, so I don’t know what it’s like to grow up female, have never had to deal with menstruation or the possibility of getting pregnant, etc.
That being said, I am proud to call myself transgender and am not afraid to proclaim it or talk about it with anyone. I must add that in my case it’s hard to do otherwise because I’m 6’4″, broad shouldered, with big feet and a deep voice, so I stand out at a distance as trans, rather than cis gendered. This fact prevented me from summoning up the courage to transition until fairly late in life, but now that I have made that decision I know that it is the best decision I ever made. So, I can’t ever “pass”–okay, I have long since made my peace with that. I don’t give a damn what other people may think of me. I do my best to look as feminine as I can whenever I walk out my door–clothes, hair, make up, jewelry, etc. , and actually get a surprising amount of compliments, although almost exclusively from women. Many guys seem to be rather uncomfortable around me, but despite living in a very rural and fairly conservative area, no one has ever hassled me. The only time I’ve ever been insulted to my face in the 2 years since I came out was in liberal Portland, Oregon–go figure!