The familiar “ladies and gentlemen” announcement on the London underground is soon to become a thing of the past, with TfL pledging to replace it with the more inclusive and gender neutral “hello everyone”.
TfL spent months consulting with LGBTQI campaigners – many of whom felt that the announcement was archaic, outdated and not inclusive enough.
When the issue was first raised in December 2016, London mayor Sadiq Khan said that London’s transport network should pledge to “put equality and fairness first”.
“I have asked for a review of training and procedures to ensure that TfL is always providing a professional, respectful service that is inclusive and sensitive to the needs of all Londoners,” he said at the time.
Mark Evers, head of customer strategy at TfL, said that he wants “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," he said.
Aimee Challoner, who spearheaded the campaign for gender neutrality, has repeatedly shared suggestions for gender neutral replacements.
And LGBTQI charity Stonewall has also supported the change, saying “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.”
It might be a small change, but it’s an important one, and one we should all get behind.