In November last year, I had a nasty experience on the Transport for London (TfL) Oyster card helpline. In the face of the transphobia I received, I worked with Sian Berry, one of the Green Party’s London Assembly members to resolve it.
In response to the incident, Sadiq Khan and Transport for London apologised and pledged to make their language ‘Gender Neutral’, this means they would stop using terms such as “Ladies and Gentlemen”. Khan’s response was widely publicised, even in other countries, and I was asked invasive and personal questions by reporters about my transition, I toughed through it though, thinking that we’d made progress, the issue was going to be sorted, and the capital’s transport network would be more inclusive. Some saw it as a bold move, but it was the right move for London’s diversity.
So you can imagine my disappointment over the last seven months as myself and others keep hearing “Ladies and Gentlemen” and other gendered language throughout the TfL network. I wasn’t the only one disappointed, so on the 22nd of June, Sian Berry asked the Mayor about it again. Sadiq Khan responded, saying that TfL had briefed staff on the changes.
It continued happening however, more “Ladies and Gentlemen”, so I did some digging, posted on Social Media about it. I struck a result, a TfL Staff Member, who has requested anonymity, reached out to me, sending me a screenshot of the TfL rule book.
This is what it says;
I’ve tried offering to with the Mayor and TfL on this, it clearly hasn’t worked. So let me be clear, trans and non-binary travellers deserve better than empty promises from Sadiq Khan and Transport for London. On Saturday, the Mayor will be celebrating LGBT+ diversity at Pride in London, perhaps he could put actions behind his words and showboating, and stop letting down diverse Londoners and visitors.