A railway company in London has apologised for offending two non-binary passengers who complained about being excluded from a greeting.
The London North Eastern Railway issued a grovelling apology after passenger Laurence Coles complained.
Coles tweeted: “‘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”.
Laurence’s friend Charlotte Monroe, 28, also contacted the company, saying: “I was 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.”
LNER responded saying: “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.”
The Sun newspaper reported on the story with a comment many would agree with,
“How woke must you be to find ‘Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls’ offensive? And how cravenly feeble must a company be to apologise for it?”
Binary spokeswoman, Kirralie Smith, said it was a ridiculous situation.
“It is not a vindictive or offensive act to greet a trainload of passengers according to biological reality. Every person on earth is male or female. To refer to people as man or woman, boy or girl, is polite and inclusive of every human being on the planet. To be offended by that is laughable. For the train company to apologise is simply shameful.”