Growing up, I don't remember it ever occuring to me that there might be other people with similar feelings of being born in the wrong gender body. I felt that this was my unique Trial of Faith that God was allowing the Devil to afflict me with. And I was going to persevere and be true to God! I felt like Job from the bible.
I knew of homosexuals, though I never (knowingly) met one, and I knew that I wasn't one because I was definitely attracted to girls. I remember thinking that gay people were just afflicted with a similar influence of the Devil to my own, and that if I could remain faithful to God's commandments by living as a male, then people who felt gay could likewise deny these evil feelings from the Devil as the Trials of Faith that they were and they could live as 'normal' heterosexuals. I completely believed that people who lived homosexual lifestyles (or gave in to the evil influence of the Devil) were making an evil lifestyle choice against the will of God and that they would be going to hell in the next life. I remember being grateful to God that I was not afflicted with that Evil desire in addition to the feeling of wanting to be a girl.
I don't remember learning about transgender people until sometime as an adult. I was married to my first wife and remember seeing some kind of Jerry Springer show or something with these "nut cases" who were men who thought they were women and tried to become women. It was all very violent and disgusting. At the time it never occured to me that people like that were feeling similar feelings of my own. From what I recall, they were attracted to men, and so I thought that they were gay men wanting to validate or express their "gayness" by dressing up as women.
I also remember hearing news stories of people who had married a woman only to discover, years later, that the woman they married was actually a man. I could never understand how that could even happen. The only answer I could come up with was that those couples must have never been sexually intimate, and the deceiver must have been an expert at disquise. Usually these stories hit the news because the husband had killed the spouse in a fit of rage when they found out. I remember feeling that rage would be an appropriate response and even thought that if I were in the same situation, I could identify with the reaction.
In the midst of media like this, on the home front, I still found myself struggling with my own personal Trial of Faith from the Devil. I found myself occasionally trying on some of my wife's girl clothes, such as panties, pantyhose, skirts and hair things. I wanted to feel pretty and girly, but felt so utterly guilty every time I did. Usually it was done privately without my wife's knowledge, yet occasionally we would be doing laundry together and I'd take one of her skirts and say: "I wonder if I could fit into one of your skirts" and try it on. I'd put it on and swish my hips back and forth and say something like "look, I could be the one who wears the skirts in our family!" Of course I would feel guilt at the thought and quickly dismiss it.
My homophobic and transphobic beliefs continued along with my guilt at wishing that I was a girl. Through the duration of this marriage I don't remember ever seeing any positive media about transgenderism and I was living a life of staunch Mormonality. I hoped and prayed to God that I could have the strength to overcome the Devil's evil influence in my life so that at the judgement day I would be found to be faithful enough to enter into Heaven.