A Beginner’s Guide to LatinX
The term "Latinx" has become popular with some people in the LGBTQ community who do not identify with the usual labels for gender identity and sexual orientation. "Latinx" is pronounced /la'ntiks/ and is an adjective that describes those related to Latin America or Latino culture. A person who identifies as LatinX is someone who was born or lives in Latin America, identifies as being part of the LGBTQ community, and/or prefers using "Latinx" as an adjective rather than a noun.
The term "Latinx" has been used primarily by people born outside of the United States to describe themselves. It's also become popular among members of this demographic: according to a 2018 Pew Research Center poll conducted on behalf of NPR (the National Public Radio), about half of all Latinos ages 18-29 currently identify as such (and 15% say they've done so since adolescence).
When you use the term Latinx, it's important to understand that the word does not refer to any one particular person or identity. Instead, it is an adjective that describes all people who identify as being from Latin America. In other words:
- The noun form of Latinx is "Latinx."
- The adjective form of Latinx is "Latinx."
This makes sense because there are many different kinds of people living in the United States today whose ancestors came from different parts of Latin America and brought their own unique customs with them—and these customs include gender expression (masculine/feminine), sexuality (heterosexual/homosexual), race/ethnicity (white/nonwhite), religion (Catholicism versus Protestantism) and more. LatinX is an inclusive identity, not a gender or sexuality. LatinX can be used to describe anything that's related to Latin America or Latino culture (e.g., salsa dancing). It doesn't have anything to do with being transgender, cisgender, or non-binary! It's important to remember that there are many different ways of describing yourself and your experiences, and you don't have to fit into one box if it doesn't feel right for you. Remember that it's okay not to identify with any particular label — as long as you're happy with yourself and who you are!
MeaVana is increasing our representation, inclusivity, and diversity through our Latin America Topics. Highlighting each country and its culture so every LatinX member feels seen!