Controversy surrounding the use of the term Latinx
Oct. 22, 2022
Hispanic and Latino remain the dominant terms to refer to people from this group, but a term growing in the public consciousness is Latinx, a gender-neutral version of the masculine and feminine words for Latino and Latina. Here to discuss more about the term Latinx are Rafael Martinez, ASU professor of Southwest Borderland and Gabriela Acuna Pacione. Both will give their takes on the use of Latinx, with Martinez being for its use while Pacione is not necessarily against it but prefers not to use it.
According to Rafael Martinez, the term Latinx is very recent, is less than a decade old and is primarily used by academics or scholars to identify and be inclusive of gender and sexuality. But also more in particular today’s youth is a generation that is pushing for the term as gender and sexuality inclusive. For nonbinary, gender-fluid, queer people, and others, Latinx is an inclusive term that rejects the gender binary.
Study shows that a growing momentum against the use of Latinx exists, with 40% of Hispanics saying it found it offensive. According to Pacione, she prefers not to use the term. “I have passion for my culture and its roots, and Latino and Latina as far as I’m concerned, I have never seen anybody get offended by it. I do believe we should be inclusive, but I personally believe in keeping our roots in our language.” Pacione said.
According to Martinez, people who don’t identify as Latino or Latina have been forced to always be identified as Latino and Latina when they choose not to identify through gender. So, using the term Latinx is a way of being inclusive and thinking about the larger population and understanding that LGBTQ community and Queer community are also part of our community, and we want to be welcoming to those folks as well.