A train company has apologized after a conductor was accused of excluding a “non-binary” passenger with his “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls” announcement.
The passenger, identified as Laurence Coles, had taken to Twitter to call out the train company for not being inclusive of his sexuality. According to him, he felt offended with the announcement because he doesn’t identify as either male or female.
“‘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”, he tweeted.
Laurence’s friend, Charlotte Monroe (28), who identifies as “non-binary” as well, also reached out to the company, saying,
“I sat with Laurence when this tweet was sent. Both of us are non-binary, and we were both alarmed and uncomfortable by the lack of inclusion.”
In response to the complaints, the London North Eastern Railway (LNER) tendered a public apology on Twitter.
“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.
“We’ve been working very hard with educating our people on why gender specific pronouns are not suitable in instances like these, and we’re sorry to see this has not been applied here.
“It is entirely valid for someone who does not identify with the terms used to feel excluded and as a business we do not accept that anyone should feel excluded.”
See the exchange below,
However, the apology has been met with mixed reactions as some passengers condemned the train company.
Jay Beecher said, “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.”
James Dreyfus wrote, “When, oh when, will this mindless idiocy end?”