A TRAIN company has apologised after one of its conductors greeted passengers with the words: ‘Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.’
The London and North Eastern Railway was taken to task by a ‘non-binary’ customer who complained that he had felt ‘excluded’ by the announcement.
The apology brought a backlash, with broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer of Talk Radio saying: ‘Stop pandering to this nonsense.’ But LNER insisted: ‘We are committed to diversity and inclusion.’
So let’s pop over to London King’s Cross Station to see how things are shaping …
BING-BONG! ‘Here is a customer announcement. The train now standing at Platform One is the delayed 16.45 LNER service to York.
‘We are pleased to inform you that the cause of the original delay has now been resolved. The customer who complained that the conductor’s referral to a famous train as the Flying Scotsman left him traumatised has accepted a compromise in which it will be called the Flying Scotsperson. We expect to leave shortly.’
Bing-bong! ‘The train now standing at Platform One is the delayed 16.45 LNER service to York. A further delay can be expected until a dispute is resolved over whether a child’s toy train set is called Thomas the Tank Engine or Thomas the Trans Engine. We hope to be on our way shortly.’
Bing-bong! ‘The train now standing at Platform One is the delayed 16.45 LNER service to York. There will be a further delay following a complaint about the train’s red, white and yellow livery by a customer who is a member of BLM (Black Locomotives Matter). We hope to be on our way shortly.’
Bing-bong! ‘We are pleased to announce that the complaints that have delayed the 16.45 LNER service to York have all been settled.
‘However, there will be a further delay while the conductor offers greeting to ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, agenders, androgynes, bi-genders, cisgenders, cis-men, cis-women, demiboys, demigenders, demigirls, drag queens, drag kings, genderfluids, genderqueers, intersexes, FTMs, LGBTQIA+, MTFs, multigenders, neutrois, non-binaries, pangenders, transfems, transmascs and transgenders.
‘A further delay can then be expected while the conductor waits while any objections are raised or omissions are brought to his attention, and apologies and smelling salts issued.
‘If you are using this service, we hope you, ze, hir, xe, xem, hy, hym, co, cos, enjoy your journey.’