Amsterdam local council has published a gender neutral language guide for civil servants, the AD reports on Tuesday. The citizens of the capital may now be collectively addressed as ‘Dear Amsterdammers’ instead of ‘Dear ladies and gentlemen’.
‘Amsterdam wants to become a city in which everyone feels even more at home,’ a spokesman for the council told the AD. ‘The guide lists a number of tips to help civil servants to speak and write about sexual and gender identity in a respectful way. As a city and employer we want to be inclusive.’
It is up to the civil servant in question to use the so-called ‘rainbow language tips’ in letters or speeches. ‘We are simply pointing at a number of alternatives. ‘Geachte dames en heren’ will still be allowed.’
Some of the alternatives to ladies and gentlemen include the gender neutral ‘Beste mensen’, ‘Geachte aanwezigen’, ‘Beste Amsterdammers’, and ‘Geachte bewoner’, the AD writes.