Cakes on display at a gender reveal party
Getty Images

BooksOctober 1, 2021

The Friday Poem: Gender, no. Woman, hot: A Dialectic Executed to Reveal the Nonbinary Lesbian, by Dani Yourukova

Cakes on display at a gender reveal party
Getty Images

A new poem from Wellington poet Dani Yourukova.

Gender, no. Woman, hot: A Dialectic Executed to Reveal the Nonbinary Lesbian

When we begin, we do not exactly begin at the beginning. Instead we begin with a question:

“What is the nonbinary lesbian, and how do we articulate how our diverse experiences with gender intersect with our queer sexuality”

The esteemed flock of Trans Philosophers deliberate. But it is only after many hours of discord
that any sense of consensus is reached. The founding principle is articulated thus:


Gender, no. Woman, hot.

At last, Socrates speaks: “Have you considered making fewer quibbles and simply choosing to be sexy?”

His eighteen-months-on-testosterone stubble bristles with wisdom and
I ignore him in pursuit of self-knowledge.

“Oh fine, we’ll do a dialectic then. Let’s consider the antithetical.”


Gender, yes! Woman, cold.

I like to perform my gender with great specificity
and enthusiasm. I confess my sins kneeling before
the door of a single-sex public bathroom, and draw
secondary sexual characteristics on images
of cartoon mice. Nearby,
a woman is slowly succumbing to
the onset of hypothermia. I cannot give
her my potentially-life-saving puffer jacket
because I got it from Hallensteins.


Gender, hot! Woman? No. 

We like to throw a gender reveal party
every Friday night…. if you know what I mean.
No ladies allowed! Leave your wives at home!!
We sun ourselves like lizards in the heat and get ready
to fuck in the rhythms of our societally dictated sexual roles.
Then we usually go home because
no one will surrender their grip on hegemonic masculinity
for long enough to have an orgasm.


Gender? Maybe. Woman, of indeterminate temperature.

The doctor hefts the newborn in their gore-covered,
latex-gloved hands, and peers at the genital configuration.
“Yeah, I guess?” they shrug. The baby’s mother
unhinges her jaw and devours the medical professional
for their impudence.


Anti-gender? No. Man, Hot.

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams
she found herself transformed in her bed into a cisgender heterosexual.
“What has happened to me?” she thought. This was no dream.


Gender, not-no. Woman, not-hot.

The woman loses track of herself inside the negatives.
“Am I here?” she asks.
“Am I here?”
“Am I here?” the nonbinary lesbian echoes like a call disconnecting.
Socrates emerges from the sea,
and opens his arms to the
undulating spill of the skies.
“Have you ever considered asking fewer questions?”


The Friday Poem is edited by Chris Tse. Submissions are currently closed and will open again soon.

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