In Jack Vance’s 1978 sci-fi novel Wyst: Alastor 1716 we are treated to descriptions of Arrabus on the planet Wyst which is an “egalistic” nation. Our protagonist, a visitor to this world and nation, is in conversation with the alluring Kedidah who explains why she is considered by some as a sexivator
“Oh — I don’t really know [why]. I like to tease and play. I arrange my hair to suit my mood. I like men to like me and I’m not concerned about women.
At this point a footnote reads:
*A more or less accurate paraphrase. The Arrabin dialect avoids distinction of gender. Masculine and feminine pronouns are suppressed in favor of the neutral pronoun. “Parent” replaces “mother” and “father”; “sibling” serves for both “brother” and “sister.” When the distinctions must be made, as in the conversation transcribed above, colloquialisms are used, almost brutally offensive in literal translation, reference being made to the genital organs.
So by a form of back translation (the use of genital-specific “cock” and “cunt”) the heteronormative tumbles out as one specific possibility — the coarseness of the language making it evident that other combinations can exist. The lack of their expression may be entirely due to the proclivities of the characters through which the narrative is focalized. Someone could borrow the world and write the unsaid.
And so for day 741