There are people who think that being trans means that you have to have gone through some set of required steps, such as hormone replacement therapy, name change, or surgery. But guess what? You can identify as trans and use the pronoun of your choice without any external changes whatsoever!
Unfortunately, in order to go through medical transition, you do need to jump through hoops, such as a mental health assessment, or therapy. If you choose not to go through medical transition, it doesn’t mean you aren’t trans, or can’t identify that way. Going through medical transition is, for most of us, an important step, but it’s not a necessary one. And there are many steps in medical transition, and none of them are required. Some chose to have surgery of some sort or another, some don’t. Some choose to use hormones, and some don’t.
What’s important is that you are clear with yourself about what’s most important to you. Each change, whether it be clothing, name, hormones, or surgery, has costs, risks, and benefits, which can be different for different people. Some people are better able to see the anatomical parts of themselves as a reflection of their true gender, and some aren’t. All paths are totally OK.
I think one of the hardest things for me is when other trans people act as gatekeepers. It’s important to remember: you are valid and lovable, no matter what choices you make around your transition. Don’t let others decide what’s right for you.