A Rotherham council employee was recovering in hospital this week after an attempt to put a recent gender awareness course into practice, went horribly wrong.
Nick Turner 34, was enjoying a lunch time drink in The New County on Bridgegate last Wednesday, where there was just one other drinker at the bar, described by landlord Sid Jones as a ‘one big old nasty unit’. Nick takes up the story from his hospital bed where he is clearly still in severe lower abdominal pain and being fed through a straw.
“We got chatting,” he said “and so I brought up the subject of preferred personal pronouns. On the course I learned that you shouldn’t make assumptions about people and always ask how they prefer to be referred to, so that’s what I did. Anyway, I sensed some confusion and so I explained that it relates to whether an individual prefers to be referred to as ‘he’, ‘she’ or something in between which is non-gender specific. Anyway, the next thing I remember is waking up in here and someone asking me what flavour soup I like and whether I’ve had my family yet.”
Sally Graham, the councils gender issues awareness officer, who sent Nick on the course says it was commendable for him to be taking the training beyond the workplace and into the community. “Certainly The New County is a challenging environment in which to go live with this, ” she said “but Nick should be congratulated for giving it a go. Yes the outcome was not as we would have liked, but it could have been considerably worse if he’d tried it with a bloke.”