*Why you should read this: Because this discussion doesn’t seem to end. Because there are as many people who think Latinx is here to stay as there are those who believe it’s not. What do you believe? VL
By By Jillian Kay Melchior, Heatstreet (2.5 minute read)
Thirteen years ago, feminists and LGBT activists online came up with the word “Latinx” as a work-around for the Spanish language’s supposedly oppressive gender strictures. It replaced “Latin@,” which surfaced in the 1990s. Both words are alternatives to just using Latino/Latina, which is what most people do.
It’s an emotional topic for Spanish-speakers. In 2016, National Public Radio ran a segment about Spanish and gendered language. The listener reaction, both for and against the -x replacement, was enormous, placing the story as one of the five most commented posts produced by LatinoUSA, NPR’s weekly show tailored to Hispanic Americans.
Those most committed to gender-neutral Spanish use an –x to replace all gendered parts of words, including not just “Latino/Latina” but also articles, nouns and adjectives pertaining to people.
One of the Facebook posts responding to the NPR page illustrated how unwieldy this gets when you do that: “Yo uso la ‘x’ constantemente en mi página de Facebook, para mi es sumamente importante que lxs compañerxs se sientan indentificadxs y valuadxs . . . READ MORE
Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.[Photo courtesy of Heatstreet]