I need your help. I work in a residential treatment center for people in recovery from substance abuse. I have a 20-year-old patient I’ll call Pat. Pat identifies herself as gender queer but is unsure if this is because she is actually gender queer or just not society’s idea of what a woman should be (she reports being a tomboy growing up, preferring to wear short hair, and enjoying working with her hands). To add to this, she sometimes wonders if she is trans but does feel comfortable in her female body.
Finally, one of the reasons she says she identifies as gender queer is that she prefers hanging out with guys over girls (which is something I often hear from young women) so I wonder how much of this may be a lack of sense of self in general. I really don’t want to minimize whatever her gender identity is but I worry that for a young woman with very little sense of self this may be some way to find identity that could be, in the end, more confusing. Obviously the decreased sense of self could also be a result of not fitting in to typical gender roles.
I guess I’m asking for resources about gender queerness that you think might be useful and for perspective and feedback from those of you who are gender queer and/or trans about how you came to know you were gender queer and or trans and how you parse the two.