To tell you the truth, your story is almost like looking in a mirror. I once thought the same way you do. Granted, I found out along the way that I wasn't transsexual, persay, but was actually intersexed. However, the same rings true.
I'm from Idaho. It's a VERY conservative environment. I knew my parents really couldn't handle the situation (especially my redneck step-dad who still doesn't). So, when I made the decision to finally transition back in 2002, I left the state. I wasn't really financially prepared to do so, but I needed to get this done in the worst way. I traveled the country, but was technically (and many times literally) homeless the whole time. I don't regret a second of it, though. I met some wonderful people (including my FIANCEE) and had a lot of memories that I cherish to this day. I've been to St. Louis, Virginia Beach (VA), Miami, San Francisco, and other places.
There were a lot of things I learned along the way. The bulk of my transition was funded by the City and County of San Francisco, to be honest. However, it was there that I found out (after my bloodwork was done) there were a few discrepencies in my genome. I found out that I was actually born with BOTH parts (which is so rare it's not even funny) and that I'd fallen pray to John Money's "Nurture vs. Nature" ideal. Whatever the circumstance, I am a girl, nonetheless--no matter what anyone else tries to tell me.
Over time, I did loose a few childhood friends. Some of them were very close and having them go was like attending a funeral. It tore me up inside. Most of my family has alienated me. To them, I don't exist. To be honest, they will be sorely missed. It hurts, but I've pushed them to the side and don't have any contact. It hurts too much to try.
However, on the bright side, I have a WONDERFUL fiancee who is all the man I've ever dreamed of! He was honestly one of the first people I met in my travels. We were friends for years and then were drawn to each other. He loves everything about me. I love him with every fiber of my being.
Also, my REAL friends have stuck by me. In fact, I'm on one of their computers right now! *lol* When I spoke with them over the phone, they told me nothing would stop them from being my friend. Guy, Girl, WTF-ever, I was their friend, end of story. It was cemented when I ran into a situation where I had to come back home. Believe me, if I'd had a choice, I would NOT have come back to Idaho, but you do what you have to when someone's trying to kill you (ex-lover, not going into it...). Regardless, I have reconnected with many of my oldest friends. I'm perfectly happy to have them, too. I wouldn't trade them for anything.
Whatever you decide, honey, remember that your family may not be very understanding. Create your own family with your friends. If the old ones don't stick around, that's their loss. They weren't true friends to begin with. Whatever happens, keep the good ones close and never look back. It may sound "self-centered", but you need this for YOU. If you can't be you, who can?
Lots of luck, sweetie. Messege me, if you'd like.