By Elise Pallagi

Confessions of a Modern Queer Beatnik, 2016

Don’t call me sir!

No, seriously, Don’t call me sir, I work for a living

Put away your assumption


That is something you will hear from me if you call me sir.

It’s a thing that Enlisted men and women say

When you call them sir

Dad was a soldier that’s how I know this


Sir is the purvey of officers and gentlemen.

So why is sir a default for clerks at coffee shops?

Especially when you are mistaken for a guy



NO SIR! I am not sir, mister or master

You could do better…

Call me Madam, Ma’m, Miss, Mz.

Anything but sir.


Seriously, I dread dealing with clerks at coffee shops

And cashiers at restaurants

Cause Lord knows they will call me sir…


There was a Lady who worked at a Starbucks

Who made it a point to call me sir

No matter how femme I was presenting myself that day

Would you like your grande coffee to go SIR!


Makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong

Who would think one simple

Three letter word

Could shatter your self confidence


I wonder what I’m doing wrong?

My hands too big?

My stubble showing?

My jaw too square?

Shoulders too broad?

Voice too deep?

Too tall to be a girl…


What does it take?

To be recognized for who I am?

The question on the back of

The mind of every trans person

Do I pass?


I guess not today…