A chance to re-invent yourself? Really? I'm thinking Edison would have to invent the transgender word first of all and take the credit away from Virginia Prince (who didn't coin the term either)
Nice topic. Many feel they aren't reinventing themselves as they go from one gender to another of their choice. After all, they were born with a few gender switches in the wrong positions. Indeed they are right.
On the other hand, most don't know immediately of exactly which switches are in the wrong position, what to do about it and have the support structure to do anything about it.
Which means, most of us, transgender women or transgender men simply do carry an imprint from living a life outside of their mental or chosen gender. We learn from observation or participation how the two primary gender binaries dance. For example, most of MtF trans women are up to a passionate debate about the so-called benefits of "male privilege"
So in a sense, no matter how many of the trace elements you are carrying from your birth gender- you do indeed have a chance to reinvent yourself.
Take the guy on the bike to your right. Growing up as a male child did you wonder why women were mainly attracted to the "bad boys"? But now don't you secretly want to be the "chick" on the back of his bike? Or have his kid? ( Well maybe that's a little extreme!)
The point is, to even consider any of this is as special as it is confusing and painful. Really, how many members of the human race have or considered starting all over in a new gender?
It is also a subject which scares many people outside the transgender community. We make men very uneasy about their sexuality and/or aggravate women who for whatever reason don't want or need perceived competition in their sandbox. In many circles we are viewed with distrust simply because we have glimpsed behind the curtain of both binary genders, rather than ignoring the idea we could be ambassadors of understanding.
We trans folks indeed are from a planet between Venus and Mars and have had a special seat on the gender fence since we all lived in caves. Sadly in many cultures we used to be valued for our potentials! I'm sure you have probably heard of the Native American cultures (and others) who believed in genders between the binary male and female.
Unfortunately, our seat on the fence is ours alone to ponder and it's not without it's own pressure. As I constantly learn to process the world from a feminine viewpoint, I am guilty of using my male imprint to maximize my life. What bothers me more is though, I'm also guilty though of not being more understanding of the where's and why's of input then making the wrong decisions.
Now you will have to excuse me, I have to go jump on the back of a Harley!