A train company could potentially ban their conductors from using the saying "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls," new reports are claiming.
This comes after a passenger on a London-based South Western Railway service raised the issue of inclusivity in conductors' greetings.
Laurence Coles, who identifies as non-binary, took to Twitter to complain about a London North Eastern Railway conductor who greeted travellers with "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls" while they was on board the train.
In their Twitter profile, Laurence claims they are a gay and transsexual rights officer for a local London branch of the Labour Party and the rail workers' union the National Union of Rail.
And, being non-binary, they don't identify as either male or female, so they found the greeting to not accommodate in any way to their identity.
Laurence tweeted this at the official London North Eastern Railway Twitter account:
LNER immediately replied to Laurence's complaint, writing:
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
"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."
Well, LNER's attempt to reconcile didn't sit too well with the vast majority of Twitter users...
Who have collectively slammed the whole thing as "nonsense."
Stop pandering to this nonsense. Your announcer said nothing wrong. Laurence's complaint is ridiculous. No one was excluded or discriminated against. Just do your job of running trains on time and leave the woke politics to someone else with nothing better to do.— Julia Hartley-Brewer (@JuliaHB1) May 12, 2021
“Should not be using language like this”...— Calvin Robinson (@calvinrobinson) May 13, 2021
Ladies and gentlemen *is* inclusive. It’s polite and it’s good etiquette.
What language should your Train Managers be using?!
I hope the guard on the train wasn’t reprimanded for this.— Peter Hewett (@WestSussexSAFC) May 14, 2021
There's always someone desperate to take offence at a friendly gesture.— Di (@DianeDonnelly19) May 13, 2021
They've greeted passengers like that for YEARS and never had an issue before 🧐😳— Kayleigh🦄 (@kayleee_x) May 13, 2021
I travel on trains often and never had issues with such announcements. You have nothing to apologise about.— Ophelia Butts ( ㅅ ) 💙 (@Ophelia_ButtsUK) May 13, 2021
Is this a wind up, its got to be a joke so a good friendly message is critisized for not aiming at the 35 new genders when at the end of the day they are still actually a man or woman, dear god what the hell has this world become!— Jay (@FitnessJamie) May 13, 2021
"Language like this?" Please have a word with yourself. You need to apologise for your apology. Your 'Train Manager' epitomises friendliness, reassurance and care for customers with their choice of words. To take offence at them says a lot about the complainant. Retract please.— Croxley 🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺 (@croxleyrebel) May 14, 2021
When will companies start improving their services and concentrating on including people they actually exclude, like those with disabilities? You can pander to narcissists all you like but it will never be a enough. Do your jobs and if they don't like it, they can walk 🤷♀️— Get the vaccine! ♀️ #FBGC 🟥 (@VeggieBeef) May 12, 2021
@LNER If they choose to ignore the announcement why does it matter? The language used was not offensive by any sane standards. Please don't pander to this nonsense.— Harriet (@wilder_harriet) May 12, 2021
LNER has since confirmed that the train manager who made the announcement would not be facing any disciplinary action.
Replying to a disgruntled Twitter user, they explained:
"There are no repercussions on the Train Manager, they haven't even been contacted. We're hoping to remind people to use gender-neutral language to include all."
And, despite the overwhelming backlash, the company have remained steadfast in their decision to be inclusive.
Louise, we're not bending over backward to accommodate any one person, we're doing our best to accommodate every person. There's the difference.— London North Eastern Railway (@LNER) May 12, 2021
"We're not bending over backward to accommodate any one person, we're doing our best accommodate every person," they replied to one of the many responses. "There's the difference."
And, when responding to another user's comment, they even suggested banning gender-inclusive phrases from their conductor's greetings altogether.
Or just with no gender mentioned. ✨inclusive✨— London North Eastern Railway (@LNER) May 12, 2021
When one user said they were "looking forward to your announcements including all 100+ genders," LNER said:
"Or just with no gender mentioned. Inclusive."
As per The Daily Mail, an LNER spokesman said:
"We are committed to diversity and inclusion in all that we do for our customers, colleagues, and communities, and encourage our on-board teams to welcome all customers."
"Our policies and procedures are reviewed regularly and we will review if any further changes need to be made."
Make sure to stay posted for further updates.