Why Latinx/e?

The term Latinx emerged in the early 21st century, reportedly first used online in 2004. Latinx is the gender-neutral alternative to Latina or Latino. It is a term used to describe a diverse group of people who have roots in Latin America. While it is unclear exactly when and where the term emerged, it is clear it emerged from queer Latinx online communities in order to challenge the gender binary.  

Latine is also a gender-neutral form of the word Latino, created by gender non-binary and feminist communities in Spanish-speaking countries. The objective of the term is also to remove gender from Spanish, by replacing it with the gender-neutral Spanish letter E, which can already be found in words like estudiante 

We understand that discourse related to these terms is complicated. Language is complicated. Identities are also not a monolith and are intersectional and complex.  

You will observe El Centro using Latinx/e in order to be in alignment with our values, the Principles of Community and to create a more welcoming environment for folks who identify outside the gender binary. We commit to re-evaluating our approach as language continues to evolve.  

For us, Latinx/e is important to use because it encompasses those who within Latin American cultures have been marginalized and put down by rigorous gender binariesmachismo, and colonizationLatinx/e pushes beyond gender binaries and acknowledges the intersecting identities of our incredibly diverse community. Latinx/e includes men, women, gender non-conforming, non-binary, trans, queer, agender and gender-fluid folks in our communities. For us, these are not exclusionary terms; they open the door for all the ways folks would like to be identified.  

We understand that not everyone is comfortable with using these terms and we strive to create a dialog and reach a mutual respect and understanding. The conversation discourse about Latinx/e has many sides and perspectives, it is messy and complicado. In El Centro, we embrace the opportunity to engage in this complexity, knowing that we won’t always get it right that we will mess up along the way. Juntos hope to learn and grow from mistakes, discourse and dialogue as we work towards greater inclusion.  

It is important to remember that all individuals have the right to identify with language that capture who they are and makes them feel welcome. Ultimately, what we want you to know is that regardless of how you choose to identify yourself (Chicano, Chicana, Xicanx, Latina, Latino, Hispanic, Mexicano, Puertoriqueño, Colombiano, Afro-Latinx, etc.) you are welcome here and we hope you come see us soon.  

Below are more articles and videos about the term Latinx and Latine: