New York City subway announcements to use gender-neutral nouns

New guidance for MTA workers

Jeremy B. White
San Francisco
Saturday 18 November 2017 20:36 GMT
Passengers wait inside a subway train in New York City on April 21, 2017
Passengers wait inside a subway train in New York City on April 21, 2017 (REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid)

New York City subway announcers will no longer address “ladies and gentlemen,” opting instead for gender-neutral nouns.

A bulletin sent out to Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employees counsels them to opt instead for words like “passengers” or “riders,” according to multiple reports.

MTA officials said the change was part of a wider effort to be more responsive to passengers, including encouraging conductors to offer real-time updates to riders about delays.

“It all goes to this fundamental need to make sure we're getting people the information they need,” spokesman Jon Weinstein told the Associated Press.

The change marks the latest effort to accommodate non-gender-conforming people in public spaces, an effort that has also seen multiple pushes to allow people to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.

For example, California law now requires all single-stall public toilets to be gender neutral.

Even as more liberal localities have embraced more inclusive measures, the Trump administration has moved in the opposite direction.

The Department of Justice rescinded Obama-era guidance directing schools to give students access to the bathrooms matching their gender identities and has pivoted to say that civil rights law does not bar discrimination against transgender people. Donald Trump has also pushed to reinstate a ban on transgender people openly serving in the military.

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