Train company apologises to non-binary passenger for conductor’s ‘ladies and gentlemen’ announcement
“Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls”. Train company make public apology to passenger.
The UK’s North Eastern Railway has issued an apology on social media after passenger Laurence Coles – who is non-binary – complained when the conductor welcomed only the ladies, gentlemen, boys and the girls aboard the service.
Laurence took to Twitter to say: “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls…’ So as a non-binary person this announcement doesn’t actually apply to me so I won’t listen.”
The train operator responded on Twitter for the slip-up:
I'm really sorry to see this, Laurence, our Train Managers should not be using language like this, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention, Please could you let me know which service you are on and I will ensure they remain as inclusive as we strive to be at LNER.— London North Eastern Railway (@LNER) May 11, 2021
Twitter being… well, Twitter… meant the network’s apology was met with a mixed reaction from users. Some praised the company for their acceptance of responsibility and commitment to change, while others…
“My Dad was a train driver. If someone ‘non-binary’ tried kicking off at him over a tannoy announcement addressing passengers as ‘ladies and gentlemen’, I’m sure he’d have rightly told them to identify as a car and drive themselves the f*ck home.”
An LNER spokesperson said: “We are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do for our customers, colleagues and communities.
“Our policies and procedures are reviewed regularly and in light of recent comments, we will review if any further changes need to be made.”
In contrast, elsewhere in the UK, TFL (London’s transport system in charge of the tubes and buses) ordered staff not to use “ladies and gentlemen” back in 2017 to prevent staff from offending transgender and non-binary passengers on London’s bus, Tube and rail network.
So at least someone’s getting it right.