Latinx: What Does This Mean?

By Solansh Moya on February 4, 2017

Latinx

A person of Latin American origin can be referred to as Hispanic, Latino, or Latina. However, there is a new word to refer to Latin Americans– Latinx (pronounced “La-teen-ex”).

Latinx seeks to move beyond gender binaries and it includes all of Latin American descendants. This word makes room for people who are trans, queer, agender, non-binary, gender non-conforming or gender fluid.

The Spanish language is gender-based, meaning nouns, adverbs, and some conjugations of verbs express a specific gender. Usually, masculine words end in “-o” and feminine words end in “-a.” This is simple when you are referring to a group entirely composed of one gender. But, this becomes a bit difficult when you are referring to a group of mixed genders. If there are men in the group, even if they are the minority, Spanish grammar rules that the group be referred to as “Latinos.” However, Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina.

In an interview with Public Radio International (PRI), Jack Qu’emi Gutiérrez, a queer, non-binary, femme writer, said, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to assign masculinity as gender neutral when it isn’t…The ‘x,’ in a lot of ways, is a way of rejecting the gendering of words to begin with, especially since Spanish is such a gendered language.”

Latinx came to fruition on the internet in 2004, within the queer community. The word gain popularity in 2014 and in 2015 the search for the word, on google, began to increase. The word has become a widely used identifier on social media platforms. Many people commend the words capability to better incorporate many groups of people while challenging norms and cultural.

What do you guys think of the word Latinx?

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