UK Theaters to Ban “Ladies and Gentlemen” to Avoid Offending Non-Binary People

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LGBT campaigners have advised theaters against using the classic phrase ‘ladies and gentlemen’ out of fears that it may not be inclusive to those who do not identify as such.

As a result, theaters have pledged to become more inclusive to trans individuals.

Actor’s union Equity, has issued guidelines condemning the old saying in favor of something more inclusive.

The guidelines stem from a rise in non-binary performances and performers across UK theaters.

Singer Sam Smith, recently came out as ‘non-binary,’ becoming one of the first major UK public figures to describe themselves with the label.

The Daily Mail lists a few performances where gender roles have been reversed:

n 2017, Tamsin Greig starred as butler Malvolia in the Royal National Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night, which also featured the normally male Feste also turned into a woman.

Last year, the National Youth Theatre production of Macbeth featured a female lead, married to a woman, while two out of the three witches were men – with one in a tutu.

Elsewhere, last month the Old Vic theatre announced it had scrapped its men and women toilets and replaced them with ‘self-selection’ facilities that can be used by both genders.

The Sunday Times reports that theaters are now encouraged to use “gender neutral terminology for collective calls, both front of house and backstage.”

The guidelines also discourage against compliments on “appearance, voice, or being brave”–presumably for carrying potential preconceived associations to specific genders.

These compliments have been described as ‘backhanded.’

Some theaters have expressed their enthusiasm in creating a more inclusive environment.