As I've said here before, one of the last areas that still interests me is the relationship (if any) between what we used to term travestism and transsexualism. Is it a question of gradation or are they different branches altogether with possibly a common root?I have been reading the blogs of others for many years looking for clues and where many were obviously and clearly in each camp others were more nebulous. But in either case, putting people into categories doesn't help explain their origins.
The tranvestism camp often produced narratives of raiding mom's laundry basket for undies or pantyhose often at or after puberty whereas transsexuals tended to do the same only considerably younger. Arousal patterns can appear in both but that has never been the motivating factor for a transition but instead a curious symptom. In general we can perhaps say that transvestism does not seem to lead to a wish for a permanent transition whereas transsexualism is very much about that reflection process regardless of what the individual has done or not done about it.
Transsexuals struggle more because they face a more daunting process even today. A 24 year old who works with my niece and is currently undergoing transition is struggling I am told; this undoubtedly because it's hard enough being that age and transitioning in full view of the world is not for the faint of heart in spite of having the entire family support her.