Why We Say Latinx: Trans & Gender Non-Conforming People Explain

Has the word "Latinx" ever come across your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? The letter "x," instead of say an "o" or an "a," is not a typo. In fact, that final letter is very intentional. 

The "x" makes Latino, a masculine identifier, gender-neutral. It also moves beyond Latin@ – which has been used in the past to include both masculine and feminine identities – to encompass genders outside of that limiting man-woman binary.

Latinx, pronounced "La-teen-ex," includes the numerous people of Latin American descent whose gender identities fluctuate along different points of the spectrum, from agender or nonbinary to gender non-conforminggenderqueer and genderfluid.

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But don’t take our word for it. Here’s why people who identify as Latinx resonate with the term.

1. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, Mexican/Anglo, San Francisco

"While there have been different iterations of Latino/a or Latin@, the 'x' is a helpful reminder that I live on the border, and I transgress the gender border at every turn. Latinx helps me remember my commitment to being disruptive in my gender expression. Identifying as a Trans*gressive genderqueer Latinx, I embrace living on the border of fe/male and the constant crossing over and disruption of normative masculinity." – Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD

2. Jack Qu'emi Gutiérrez, Puerto Rican, Orlando

"I identify as Afro-Latinx because I acknowledge my identity as a part of Latinidad and as a product of colonization. My family hails from Borikén (Puerto Rico), so that cultural and racial mixture is very evident in how my community looks, speaks and even influences our music. The 'x' in Afro-Latinx serves as a nod to my gender neutrality and my commitment to a lack of participation in the gender binary." – Jack Qu'emi Gutiérrez

3. Nik Angel Moreno, Mexican, Pennsylvania

"I identify as Latinx because my mother is mexicana. As a nonbinary transgender person, being Latinx, to me, means strength, power and resilience as a people. Our people remain resilient, even through massive displacement and colonization. It means relearning how we see the world around us, and working to eliminate oppression and anti-blackness inside and outside our communities. Being Latinx means fighting oppression and building communidad. I love being Latinx, and I wouldn't have it any other way!" – Nik Angel Moreno

4. Em Alves, Puerto Rican/Guyanese, St. Louis

"Being Latinx is to exist outside the binary, to be somewhere on the spectrum but still feel a solid place in it. Being Latinx is to feel solid in two or more places. For me, it's embracing the rich and beautiful culture of our people, while rejecting the gender restrictions of the generations before us. I identify as a Queer, Hard Femme Latinx, and my Latinidad is such an integral part of how I experience my gender and sexuality. Latinx acknowledges me for who I am, in all my parts." – Em Alves

5. Jazzmin Jade Readeaux, Mexican, Houston

"Being Latinx means being gender neutral in a culture that is so obsessed with gendering everything. It means to love and embrace your heritage while still being able to love and embrace yourself. Not everyone fits in the traditional male or female categories, so why try to force people in a box? I identify as Latinx because I honestly don't feel like a girl, but I'm also not masculine. I'm somewhere in between, and I'm extremely comfortable with it." – Jazzmin Jade Readeaux

6. Christina Licea, Cuban, Miami

"To me, identifying as Latinx is embracing the intersection between cultural identity and gender. It's about inclusiveness, making sure everyone is accounted for. Spanish, in particular, is a heavily gendered language; everything is male or female. So what about non-binary trans people? We love our culture and want to be included, too. I identify as Latinx to assure everyone's voice is heard." – Christina Licea

7. Miranda Cruz Blancas, Puerto Rican/Mexican, Chicago

"For me, I connect to the term Latinx because it is gender neutral, and I am genderfluid, so neither Latina or Latino really fits me. I also relate to Latinx more because I don't relate to or identify with Hispanic, as I am not a direct descendant of Spanish-speaking colonizers, and I don't identify with Spanish because I'm not from Spain, and have many generations between myself and whatever Spanish is in me. To me, identifying as Latinx is also easier, from personal experience, when explaining my countries of origin to non-Hispanic/Latinx white people. I'm very proud of being Puerto Rican and Mexican, I just find it easier to tell white people that I'm Latinx because to a lot of white people, 'it's all the same thing.' I also feel like identifying as Latinx takes away from the fetishizing that people tend to associate with Latina or Latino, the 'sexy Latina mami' stereotype." – Miranda Cruz Blancas

8. Zuqy Cruz Marquez, Mexican, Chicago

"I am Latinx. I am my ancestors. I am a universe. I am me. The 'x' in Latinx is a fusion, for those of us whose gender is fluid." – Zuqy Cruz Marquez 

9. Skye, Mexican/Spanish, Arizona

"I identify as Latinx simply because I am a mix of different 'latin-esque' races. It is very important to use Latinx because it is a gender-neutral term. It helps me feel more comfortable in terms of my gender orientation and reminds people that other races such as people of Latin American descent do not always fit into the gender binary, and it is important to recognize people of color for being outside that binary, too." – Skye