This question requires deep thought, as the terms “identity” and “gender” are subject to various interpretations. All of the responses are helpful, but I find JJ’s the one that most hits home with me.
I regularly give classroom presentations to help people understand crossdressers better. I have changed the subject as the term “transgender” is interpreted different ways at different times. I came to the conclusion that there are at least 4 different aspects to gender/sexuality: biological, expression, identity, and sexual orientation… all distinctly different and not necessarily correlated with each other. The best way I have seen to depict this is the genderbread person (itspronouncedmetrosexual.com), which more recently has added distinctions between sexual and romantic attraction.
My sense of “identity” is that I was assigned male at birth, viewed myself male in part because others did, and consider myself male. However, I also believe all people have a female component and mine is stronger than for most males. I have a compelling urge to EXPRESS that side of me… might even do so full time if society could accept and I could perform my “male” roles while presenting as a woman. But society has a ways to go for that to occur. My partner, in particular, while more supportive than most, is not attracted to me if I present en femme. Since I don’t view myself to be a real woman, or woman trapped in a man’s body, with all the connotations of such, and have no desire to transition or think that surgery would cause me to view myself any differently, I am content to merely EXPRESS my female side as often as practically possible.
My journey has helped me better understand the distinctions between gender and sex, the fact that sexual attraction has nothing to do with gender identity, and that “expression” and “identity” are distinctly different things. I believe there are biological reasons for the way we are..our identities were determined before birth… we have no choice about who we are and how we were made so would do well to try to understand and accept who we are rather than change the unique bits that define this. We cannot control how others view us… we can only educate in hopes we might be better understood and accepted. So focus on self-acceptance and better understanding of who WE are so we can decide how best to live our own lives in recognition of what we CANNOT change, absent a need to have others change what they WILL not change, seems to me an optimal strategy.
I believe the explanation above is a clarification of my gender identity, something that has taken me years to understand and is an ongoing process, so would answer the question “yes.”