A while ago, I was at a pub with an acquaintance and we were talking about life, the universe and everything; our little corner of it anyway. One of the things she said was, "when you decide to transition, it becomes everything that you are."
At that time, I hadn't actively decided to transition. I was still testing the waters so to speak, though now I'm sure I was past the point of no return already. Now I look at her words form the perspective of having decided, and I can tell you that for me, she wasn't entirely right.
In a some ways, I was more trans before starting my transition. I was obsessive about the concept, particularly about it in regards to me. Every day was am I? Aren't I? Checking in the mirror to see if I could tell just by looking; which bits are masculine? Which bits are feminine? Every time I met someone new, what name was I supposed to use? Sometimes I introduced myself using both names, and left it up to the other person to choose what to call me. In short, I could not stop thinking about being trans.
Around the same time I started my physical transition and sought out hormones, I also came to realize that the identities that meant more to me throughout more of my life had more to do with what I did than who I was. Artist. Performer. Writer. These were things about me that had no real bearing on my gender or my sex, and were things that were important to me before I ever even heard the term 'trans'. Of course, being trans has and will always have a profound influence on these aspects of myself, how could it not? But being trans is only a facet of who I am. It is not the entirety of my identity.