The London Underground will provide inclusive service to the LGBTIQ community by adopting gender-neutral announcements on the subway.
The change comes as Britain increasingly moves towards becoming a genderless society, with 120 British schools introducing gender-neutral uniform policies and UK universities adopting gender-neutral language guidelines.
Transport for London (TfL), the government department which runs the underground, will replace the phrase “good morning ladies and gentlemen” with “good morning everyone,” in all automated announcements. Staff will be supported in transitioning to genderless wording in their interactions with customers and reminders will be issued to staff who continue to use gender-specific phrases too often.
Mark Evers, director of customer strategy for TfL said the change is an effort to make everyone feel welcome on London’s subway system. "We have reviewed the language that we use in announcements and elsewhere and will make sure that it is fully inclusive, reflecting the great diversity of London," he said in a statement last Thursday.
LGBTIQ groups have been campaigning for months to have TfL modernise the outdated language and London Mayor Sadiq Khan supported the changes during a June session of Mayor's Question Time.
“Transport for London serves a vibrant, diverse and multicultural city, and provision of an inclusive transport service is at the heart of TfL’s purpose,” he said. “I am aware however, that some customers may not relate to or feel comfortable with the way that certain station announcements are made.”
“I am keen that TfL addresses these concerns by speaking in a more neutral way when referring to gender.”
LGBTIQ advocacy group, Stonewall, was one of the groups campaigning for the change. It said in a statement that "Language is extremely important to the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community, and the way we use it can help ensure all people feel included.”
"We welcome gender neutral announcements to be rolled out across TfL as it will ensure that everyone - no matter who they identify as - feels accounted for."
Images courtesy of Transport For London