Welcome to our place! I hope that it will be a good experience for you.
Yes, your story is similar to many others. We suppress some very particular thoughts in an effort to fit in, get along, meet expectations, etc. But, later we find that we really needed to be and do something different from our previous lives.
I appreciate that you were very thorough with your Profile page. I think many don’t understand the significance of the page and that it becomes a living document as to how your life and journey progresses. You can update it at any time as you see fit. A post, however, cannot be changed shortly after it is entered. Further, the Profile helps others to understand you as a person.
We have a way to search for other members, in your case, in Illinois. Click on Social in the menu and then Member Directory. That will put you at the search utility.