“U.K. theaters will soon be safe spaces from phrases such as ‘ladies and gentlemen’ and a variety of appearance-based compliments under new guidelines published by the Equity actor’s union, according to reports.
Policies are being implemented to foster a more welcoming environment for LGBT performers or audience members who may not identify as male or female.
Venues are being urged to introduce ‘gender neutral terminology for collective calls, both front of house and backstage,’ according to the Sunday Times.
‘Last night the National Theatre, which supported Equity in producing the guide, said that it was still using ‘ladies and gentlemen’ in some of its announcements but would make it a priority to phase the words out.’
Additionally, the guide advises actors should not receive ‘backhanded compliments’ or be called ‘brave.’
Compliments based on ‘appearance, clothing, voice, quality, identity or the performer being brave’ should also be avoided.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has announced it will ‘strive to create environments which welcome and support trans people and people who identify their gender as fluid,’ the Daily Mail reports.
London’s Old Vic theater recently abandoned men’s and women’s toilets in favor of gender neutral offerings.
‘Coming to the theatre is a shared and communal experience in one single auditorium and we want to please our audience and give them a great evening,’ said Nica Burns, co-owner of Nimax Theaters in London. ‘We wouldn’t want anyone to feel offended or annoyed.'”