The term Latinx emerged in the early 21st century, reportedly first used online in 2004. It is mostly used by community activists and in higher education settings by students, faculty, staff, and some administrators who seek to advocate for individuals living on the borderlines of gender identity.
Since its origins, the term has faced much controversy, but we at El Centro and Colorado State University feel that adopting the term has opened our community as a more welcoming environment. Latinx encompasses those who even within our Latin American cultures have been marginalized and put down by rigorous gender binaries and machicismo. We understand that not everyone is comfortable with traditional labels and strive to create a dialog and reach a mutual respect and understanding.
An article on HuffPost once stated, “Despite the growing popularity of the term, Latinx has been faced with criticism. Many opponents of the term have suggested that using an un-gendered noun like Latinx is disrespectful to the Spanish language and some have even called the term “a blatant form of linguistic imperialism.” Some refuse to use the term as “Latinx doesn’t roll off the tongue in the Spanish language.” However, in defense of the term, Brooklyn College professors María R. Scharrón-del Río and Alan A. Aja argue that the Spanish language itself is a form of linguistic imperialism for Latin Americans.
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.
Below are more articles and videos about the term Latinx: