Honor Me Queer

Challenging Honorifics

2 min readJan 5, 2021

I detest being called, “Ma’am” and referred to as Ms., Mrs., or Miss.

I know I look like a woman and I was born female.

But I cannot stand being boxed in.

You throw those boxes on me, over me, push me into them, and I feel my fists and jaw clench.

I tense.

The anger button inside me is slowly depressing.

Triggering images of punching the smug face that called me…that referred to me…that boxed me in.

Imagining stomping and crushing those boxes under my growing, now colossal sized feet.

Taking those insults and your disrespect and spewing them back like a poison.

All this inner turmoil, in a petite, curvilinear, rosy cheeked, pale skinned package.

Already tamping it down, I give terse responses.

When our eyes meet, they show too much.

Too much hostility, anger, irritation, and bitchiness.

My non-verbal cues tell you I am upset, but do you know why?

I wonder what would happen if I asked you not to call me that?

In some ways, I am Napoleon — short in stature and temper, but also short in measuring up to the perfection I am obsessed with obtaining.

Why must we bog ourselves down with lead boxes of honorifics?

The best way to honor me is to refer to me as I want.

I want to be honored as me.


I float.

After relieving the dead weight.

Embarking on the path to honoring myself and others in the way they wish to be honored.

A rainbow is threaded into a textile with a hand in the foreground holding a piece of paper that reads: No Labels.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels




Librarian and Information Specialist by day. Queer writer of poetry, sensuality, personal experience, and health by night. Instagram @tolbert_on_medium #BLM✊🏿