Thoughts on the term 'Latinx'?

I’m not sure if this topic has been discussed somewhere on here but I stumbled upon this video,

And I know reading through this forum I’ve gotten used to the term Latinx for nonbinary Hispanic folk, but when I scrolled through the comments on the video and saw the term “Filipinx” and as part Filipino who is nonbinary I felt a bit off on the term. I don’t hate it but I’d prefer people not to refer to me as such.

Filipino has always been a gender neutral term for me and my family. Who are supportive of my gender and sexuality. I don’t feel any gender discomfort towards the term and I’m not sure if I know any other nonbinary Filipino(especially those I know personally) do as well but I’m not them.

And as much as I love the letter X and the gender neutral term Wix for Wizards and Witches/Magic folk in general. And I also much prefer Mx. over Mr. Or Ms.

I don’t want my heritage and cultural identity controlled/altered by someone else because of their own personal beliefs.

That video has made me realise the term Latinx and just changing a term for a community of people without their consent can be problematic.

But I am not Hispantic, but a nonbinary person who is part Filipino.

I’m curious to what others think of this term and the recent changes to certain words/titles.

Should terms have an overt gender neutral change? Or should they stay the same?

If certain gender biased words should be changed, what would be the best way to go about it?

Also if your Hispanic or Filipino what do you think of the terms Latinx/Filipinx?

(If you prefer Latinx or Filipinx that’s fine, I’m just curious to what others think)

Edit: saying Filipinx makes me feel like I’m saying Fili-penis :flushed::flushed:

13 Likes

From what I have heard in speaking to my latine friends on the internet, they also dislike the term ‘latinx’ because it is an English way of changing something to be gender neutral, and thus it can’t be pronounced in Spanish. From what I gather, latinx was created without discussion or input from the people who’d actually identify with it.

Typically, latino can be masculine or gender neutral. But if you are looking for an alternative that is wholly gender neutral in its use, I’ve seen many Spanish speaking people use ‘latine’.

48 Likes

So, I’m a queer, cis, Caucasian American woman who’s been living in Colombia for the past 5 years. I exist in queer spaces here, but I’ve only ever heard the term Latinx in the US and online. My feelings on the word are that, when it’s used, it’s generally used to create space for non-binary people of Latin/Hispanic descent in the US.

If I were in queer spaces in the US, I’d default to Latinx unless corrected. Here in Colombia, I default to Latina/Latino unless corrected. The most important thing (and, again, I’m speaking as a cis white woman with the associated privileges here) is to remember and respect the identifiers people choose for themselves. My defaults change because different cultures have different relationships with gender, but the individual’s personal identitifiers always comes first.

7 Likes

I also only heard about it when people started complaining.

We have something similar going in in Germany where people try to change the language from a academic perspective. And people really hate it.

Most word in Germany also have the masculine as a neutral form it has been as such for the entirety of the language history and we have people who want to change it or add the feminine ending to a word to include women. But that actually implies women where never part of that group and I find it very disrespectful to implie I can not understand that a word includes me when it is in a neutral form which happens to be masculine. Also the first time I heard someone talking like that I thought they have a speech impairment :flushed:

apartment from that I think the academic circles created it to be inclusive without ever considering and asking what the people of that group wanted and I find that VERY respect less

13 Likes

Prefacing this by saying that my word shouldn’t be taken as the one and only latinx voice and that different people will have different opinions. I’m south American and in my country this conversation has been picking off steam since the mid-2010s (maybe before that, but this is when I remember starting to notice the language change). As everyone knows, Spanish is a very gendered language so adding x, e, and even @ was the way I saw activists fight back against an arbitrary rule that says the masculine form of words is better than using a truly neutral form. So basically, e/x/@ means “e” here. The only people in my country that find it confusing are people that aren’t part of the marginalized groups that are fighting to make Spanish more inclusive so :violin: :violin: :violin:

So yeah, I don’t mind and I would rather be called latinx, latine, or latin@ than having someone assume I want to be called latino. Latinx forces us to recognize that nonbinary people exist and I have yet to see an argument* that is against latinx and addresses the existence of nonbinary folks.

*an argument outside of this thread. @Jay_Tarrant explained it very well.

10 Likes

I can’t say I know many NB people of latin heritage. However, everyone else I know either think it’s dumb, unnecessary, or just don’t care much about it. I’ve also asked both of my parents what their thoughts on it were, and they thought it was dumb. Personally, I won’t get offended, but I’d just find it unnecessary.

20 Likes

Pretty much the same for me, the only time I’ve actually ever heard it used or read it was from a white person.

14 Likes

lol! I totally get where you’re coming from.
My brother told me that every time he reads Latinx, he keeps wanting to pronounce it as Latinks.

As for my personal views (keep in mind, I am a 2nd gen Mexican-American queer cis woman), well…I have some thoughts.

TL;DR:
“Latinx” feels ignorant at best and malicious at worst because it prioritizes English rather than Spanish verbal use, when it’s ostensibly supposed to help Spanish develop a nonbinary space. I prefer Latine as it can actually function and evolve with and within the Spanish language.

The Longer Version:

I feel a bit uncomfortable when I read “Latinx”. No one in my family likes the term. No one I know in real life who is from Latin America or of Latin American descent likes the term. However, I won’t stop enbies from using it if they find it to be an adequate term to describe themselves, especially in English.

That having been said, “Latinx” is a very clunky way to remove the gender binary from Spanish (a noble cause and one I hope can be solved soon) and it honestly comes off as a bit patronizing. It’s clear the term doesn’t prioritize the Spanish language itself, which is frustrating as the purpose of gender inclusive language should be to utilize it in both written and spoken contexts. Pronouncing it in Spanish would be Latin-equis, which is just ridiculous in my view, but worse, in most cases it seems that its English pronunciation is the dominant form, even within a Spanish language conversation and context.

I’ve read many conflicting reports of where the term originated from, and at least for the forseeable future, I don’t think we’ll know with any certainty if the term originated in Latin American countries or in the U.S. However, the way in which it is used and pronounced makes it clear to me that whatever its origins, it’s used in a way that is more natural in the English language, especially the American English dialect, and can only at best be imposed onto Spanish. That is what makes me uncomfortable.

I much, much prefer revolutionizing the Spanish language by conjugating for Latine rather than trying to force “Latinx” to work. Latin@ is good shorthand, but won’t do much to create a nonbinary space. Latine, though, that can be worked with. It might still be awkward here and there, but it’s malleable and I’m confident that with time, things can settle into something both acceptable and functional.

Lastly, Latinx’s existence in English is utterly redundant. Latin and Latin American are both terms that already exist and are used.

I mean…come on.

It’s right there, lol.

47 Likes

I am a Latino born and raised in the United States. Spanish is my first language and I was raised by a Puerto Rican mother and a Salvadoran father. I have never personally liked the term Latinx. Like others have stated above, there is no way to properly pronounce “Latinx” and most people accept “Latino” as gender neutral(myself included). It only takes into account English speakers — not native speakers.

If somebody wishes to refer to themselves as Latinx, that’s completely their right; but I personally do not like being referred to as Latinx when Latino or Latin American or even Hispanic is a term you can use on anybody; regardless of their gender identity. Just my two cents.

17 Likes

I’ve seen the term used all over american mainstream media (not specifically to refer to non binary people but just the community as a whole) and I wondered why the term ‘latin americans’ wasn’t used instead. I know no one in real life who uses it.

As for your question about gender neutral changes to languages…
Hindi has gendered terms and if an NRI or non-Indian were to try and change it they wouldn’t be taken seriously. I would prefer the language to stay the same.
I’m saying this as an NRI, I think the English speaking world should learn to be a little more mindful of other cultures in this particular area.

5 Likes

My opinion is quite simple, firstly I am from Panama, a Latin American country and the first time I heard the term “Latinx” it was from the US media, I have never met someone who bothers to be called Latino, besides that it is difficult to say it in Spanish.

10 Likes

Honestly as a full Filipino the introduction of using Filipinx was a mockery. Filipino is already neutral as in it includes everyone as in no-one is above or below you in identifying a person’s identity. When this term was introduce in my country it was first assumed to be a joke. Everyone had a field day of making the most weirdest, impolite, nasty, and mind boggling terms just to use the word term Filipinx.

Hell, the government had to step in and say “No’ we aren’t using Filipinx.” when it got out of hand and everyone was just blasting each other in the most rude way possible and even calling it exclusive which alienated other Filipino people in general thus making the term Filipinx a mockery in the eyes of the majority. But the gist of it is no matter what majority of the Filipino people agree not going to use Filipinx as it sounds weird, funny, and stupid.

The commonly used Pinoy and/or Pinay and/or Noypi, which a Native Filipino use to identify themselves, the word “Filipinx” is a relatively new label that Filipino-Americans have been using to differentiate their own “identities and experiences.”

I highlighted the Filipino-Americans as Native Filipino don’t use it. Never thinks about using it as again we already identify as either Pinoy and/or Pinay and/or Noypi.

Some Filipino assume this is a fad from Filipino-Americans trying to identify themselves as part Filipino to gain followers in their vlogs, YouTube channels, etc. But funnily their nationality is not Filipino rather American. Heck, some even never stepped foot on Philippine soil and just assumed this and that about the People and Country based solely on what they’ve been told by either their parent, guardians, relatives who are part or full Filipino themselves.

Their ethnicity is part Filipino not whole Filipino which makes the use of Filipinx stupid for Native Filipinos as it forces them to use a term they never agreed on and/or identified with. It also confused some people and again majority took it as a joke and proceed to make a mockery of it. A debate is still on about using Filipinx, but again it is a dying cause as most Native Filipinos are going to have another field day of trashing the term.

I’m not sure about other languages, but the Filipino language as a whole is already mostly neutral when used. It only changes when its forced to be translated into say English or when it needs more clarity on who you are talking to.

Example:
In Filipino we can say “Asan na sya?”
Correct translation “Where are they?”
But to be specific it changes to “Where is s/he?”

The Filipino language is mostly neutral, but we can force it to be mostly not neutral for the sake of English translation. Also, just to point out Filipino is a language spoken around 120 to 175 languages in the Philippines, depending on how they are classified. And the eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicolano, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense Will definitely change how translation is going to be or how the language is going to be delivered. The national language spoken and national language based on the current constitution are English and Filipino. The term Filipino also embraces all use of the Filipino language as opposed to just saying I speak Tagalog or Bicolano, etc.

Honestly, In Filipino language this could be hard as it needs to address more than one language/dialect.

As a Full Native Filipino and as someone who Identifies as a NB but I do still respond to Female terms for proprieties sake. Filipinx is the most Idiotically forced term, mocking for the sake of superiority sake, and down right funny when used in Filipino spoken conversation as in it will definitely turn into a joke. I’m rather happy calling my fellow Filipino as either Pinoy tand/or Pinay and/or Noypi than some Filipinx which is inspired by the Latin American community Bleh, Filipino language is already mostly gender neutral in usage and accecpts gender fluidity.

Lols, this is one of the arguments that sparked so many memes that the government had to assure the public that we ain’t using it so no worries. Filipinx or fil·i·pi·nx [ fil-uh-pee-neks, ‐pingks ] is how it was pronounced was used more on relating to people of Philippine origin or descent, especially those living in the United States. Which is why Native Filipinos do not want to use it as they never agreed on it and it sounds funny and mockingly so at the same-time.

22 Likes

That hits hard, I’d read an entire story about this. When taken out of context it could apply to most cultures. Most of them being erased, or worse by other people and their personal beliefs.

As for the actual argument. Yeah corpos making up words, and making people use them for political brownie points is wrong. Though getting involved on their behalf would probably do nothing at best, considering I am no more Latin than they are. Give or take a few semantics.

5 Likes

Well, i am brazilian and here we kinda of started using the letter “x” to give words a neutral gender, but we stop using it because it’s impossible to pronounce it and it’s much more difficult to read for blind and neurodivergent people, so we started using the letter “e” to indicate gender neutrality.
About the word “latinx” I don’t really understand why using it if you writing in English, it is already a gender neutral word, isn’t it? It feels kind of wrong actually

11 Likes

Some publishing company on Facebook did a “Latinx Heritage Month” giveaway, and most of the reactions and comments were from indignant Latinos who made their feelings about that word very clear. One Latina wondered what Gabriel García Márquez (one of whose books was included in the giveaway) would say if he could see what was being done to his beautiful native language. Some went so far as to call “Latinx” a slur.

8 Likes

It’s dumb.

22 Likes

Yeah, I feel like it’s invalidating the word latin, canceling the culture, it’s very stupid

8 Likes

In all honesty, I don’t think it matters whether it’s Latine or Latinx, the problem is that people don’t want to adapt to new concepts and the terms* that come with it, even though it might make people like me feel more accepted. Not even accepted, respected.
*People will say “it sounds dumb because they are made up words”… as oppose to the words we encounter in the wild?
The discussions about “Latinx” have been discussed and dragged to the grave, because it sounds too anglicized, but then they won’t use Latine either.
And I get that latino is gender neutral, what I have always questioned though, is how the masculine gender seems to be the one that turns neutral in most cases, when it’s never the other way around, but that’s a discussion for another time.
I am Mexican, I’ve been living in Mexico my whole life, in online spaces, I use latine/latinx (I see the latter more as a translation, I mean, if you’re writing in English, you wouldn’t say “I am mexicano” you would use the English word, etc.) but I will never use those words in real life because Mexico and most Latam countries are very conservative and the mere idea of non binarism instantly gets mocked and disregarded.
Overall, these conversations are really tiring for me and other enbies I’ve talked about it with, 9 times out of 10, the main thing I get from reading the discussions is that my own people will prioritize their own convenience (even if people using these terms doesn’t affect them at all) over trying to challenge the patriarchal and colonist mindsets that made languages the way they are in the first place.
Languages are fluid, they are bound to change over time, but they’ll take longer the more resistance and regulations people make (regulations that, like I said, are often rooted in concepts like colonialism and classism, that out of brevity I won’t disclose, but are pretty rampant in Spanish speaking countries).
Lastly, I also find it interesting and kinda sad that these type of discussions are, most likely, bound to be one-sided because the number of latine enbies who will also happen to be in these niche communities is going to be quite low. It is no surprise to me then seeing so many cis people commenting here, even non Latines.

11 Likes

I think it’s pretty silly. Before long, they’d be asking why is water masculine and why is milk feminine yada yada.

4 Likes

I cringe hard whenever I see someone use this term

9 Likes