I don't remember how I first found out about D&D. I was born in 1978, and had an older cousin who played, but I think I had heard of it before I found out he played. I asked him if I could play with him and his friends and he said no. I was 10 or 11, he was 17, and all of his group were at least in their early 20s, if not older. He wasn't mean about it, but he was pretty clear that these guys didn't want a little girl around. That didn't kill my interest. When he joined the army after high school, I asked if I could have his D&D books. He had already given them to one of the guys in his group, but he did give me some cassette tapes (Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Iron Maiden) and a few horror novels.
Around this time, my grandparents had moved in with us (me and my mother.) The reason given was my mother was working nights and they would be around to care for me. It wasn't the real reason. They didn't trust her to be a good mother. This was a blow to her already poor mental health, and she stopped living at our house full time.
I was 13 when I asked a few of my friends if they wanted to try D&D. The three that said yes had no experience with the game, either. So my next step was to acquire the books. I thought that would be easy, because up to this point my grandmother had bought me whatever book I wanted when she took me to the bookstore. She was an avid reader herself, and she didn't seem to mind that I was reading a lot of "adult" horror novels. When I asked for the PHB during a trip to B. Dalton, she refused. I had the temerity to ask for a reason why while we were still in the store. She got angry at me. She would only say that the game was probably satanic, when I pushed her about it more on the ride home. That seemed like such a silly argument coming from an atheist.
I still wanted to try this game out, so I asked my mom if she would get the PHB for me. She seemed happy to, if only to help me disobey my grandmother. So I finally had this book and I wrapped it in a brown paper bag like a textbook from school, writing "Math" on the new cover! Next I started a "study group" at the library and we were off and running trying to figure this game out. I think we all thought it was acted out like LARPing, at first, and I know the girl that I had asked to play seemed to lose interest when we figured out it wasn't like that.
We learned we needed another book, the DMG, and some dice. Another mission for my mom! The DMG got a similar re-covering and was labeled "Science." I had to hide the dice when I wasn't taking them to "study group."
In getting into the game and talking with friends, we found out other people we knew were already playing. My first session was during lunch break at school, a solo dungeon delve with my Half-Elf Bard. Some underwater tunnels were navigated and I didn't drown. I was hooked.