Take for example a gender-neutral name, either initials or a first name that is both female and male (like “Kit”).
Approximately 2x a month through an online poetry group, I digitally meet “sparrow” (no first/last name with email address). “sparrow” emails me, “Kit, I poked around your blog. You’re a woman! I thought you were a Massachusetts attorney.” Mmmmm. What does that say about my poetry – tone, subject, line breaks, heart and sinew?
Now, I take a bird-level view of “sparrow” and ascribe an amazing vocabulary and wit to this passerine. If you pin me down, I assume “sparrow” is male having read the poems circulated to the group. I share this with a poet friend. She’s sure “sparrow” is a woman based on the email address. Mmmmm.
Via email this evening “sparrow” confesses gender. I’ll leave that in the nest, for the time being. Of being, everything matters and is of.
Mmmmm, now, on to food. Yin/yang. Hot/cold. Is there gender-neutral food? Perhaps, toast. Yes, definitely, toast. Hold the jam.