Great points that are well illustrated here. I'm often reminded of a talk show host who noted "more people identify as LGBT when their respective cultures are accepting," as if the culture's accepting makes more people trans.
Your story supports the obvious truth that when you punish people for being open about their gender expression, they don't openly explore themselves. The price we pay as a society is the in the pain that can't stay hidden forever. I'm hopeful we'll collectively support the changes necessary to allow people the simple freedoms you advocate here.
You've done a great job illuminating the struggle and I appreciate learning from this!