Fantastic story, Cassius. Thank you. I have heard similar stories in the past from people your age — and even my age who were part of the pioneering first wave of online role-playing games.
It seems that many transgender people have learned about themselves by playing these games and taking on roles even when they had not intended to.
I don’t think I’d call what you were doing catfishing. You were exploring yourself in a safe environment.
Given how many stories I’ve heard like this, I think this phenomenon would make an excellent research paper for some aspiring graduate student. I bet they wouldn’t have any trouble finding data!
Thanks so much for telling your story.