In December 2016 a complaint by a trans-woman, Aimee Challenor, started a vigorous debate in London. The 19-year-old who identifies as a woman, though was born as a man, had called the Transport for London (TfL) helpdesk. At some point during that conversation, she was told she “didn’t sound like a Miss’’.

This comment had initiated a sense of ‘’shock’’ and left her unable to respond. 

Following a campaign by various LGBTQI rights groups, London mayor Sadiq Khan himself apologised and argued trans-awareness should be improved in TfL. The Mayor argued that London is a very diverse city, and everyone should be able to feel included. He stated that to a certain extent he blamed the phone operator at TfL, but that it was also a sign of a wider cultural issue that needed to be addressed.

Today it was announced that TfL will, for this reason, scrap the term ‘’ladies and gentlemen’’ from its announcements. The terminology was, according to those supporting the change, outdated and only suitable for those who embrace the binary gender paradigm. 

TfL chief Customer Strategy, Mark Evers, said that they want:

“Everyone to feel welcome on our transport network. 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.”

The typical polite English greeting will now be replaced by terms such as ‘’Hello everyone’’ and the remainder of the phrases used are being checked to ensure they do not discriminate or exclude anyone whether it is based on age, religion, ability or whatever else you may think of.

LGBTQI rights groups have applauded TfL announcement.

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