Train Company Apologizes For Conductor Addressing Passengers As ‘Ladies And Gentleman’

A UK train company has issued an apology after offending a nonbinary passenger when a conductor greeted riders by saying, “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.” While that may simply sound like a polite way to welcome riders on board, Laurence Coles, who identifies as gender non-binary, took to Twitter to voice his displeasure, writing: “‘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.”

  1. London North Eastern Railway made sure they reached out to Coles. Wanting everyone to feel welcome on board their trains, a spokesperson for the company (or whoever was running its social media accounts) reached out to offer Coles an apology for his experience.
  2. “Language like this” isn’t okay on LNER. As the company said in its response, “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.”
  3. LNER is striving to be more inclusive all-around. The employee continued by informing Coles that LNER has been “working very hard with educating our people on why gender specific pronouns are not suitable in instances like these” and again impologies that “this has not been applied here.”
  4. Many believed Coles was overreacting. However, LNER itself said that it totally gets where he was coming from, adding: “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.”
  5. Whatever your opinion, hopefully Coles and other nonbinary people feel welcome on board LNER trains. Whatever your personal beliefs on whether or not LNER should have apologized, it’s encouraging that they did. We should be fostering more inclusivity and acceptance, and the more thoughtful we can be, the better.

Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.