Xpanding the diaspora

I’ve been thinking about “what we talk about when we talk about Latinx” for some years.

My main question has been: Why not Latines? why not use the vowel “e” that we already use for non-gender-specific terms like alcaldes (mayors) and doctores (doctors), etc. Why the consonant “X”?

It was a few weeks ago that I started thinking about pre-Hispanic and post-Hispanic cultures in the Americas.

It was that “post-Hispanic” naming that helped me accept the purpose of the X.

The fact that “LatinX” cannot be said easily in Spanish is a feature, not a bug.

The use of the English “ex” is meant to disrupt the flow of speech; like a branch on a tree, rather than a dam on a river.

It’s a little bit “Malcolm X” and a lot to do with the right to self-name. Specifically, I think post-Hispanic (English-native versus “Spanish dominant”) generations want to be able to indicate their specific role in, and contribution to, the diaspora.

In the end, I’ll call anyone what they want to be called. Full stop.

Likewise, I will continue to use Latines when describing everyone – Latino, Latina, Latinx.

Perhaps, our children, raised in the US, will choose the LatinX for themselves. It has a great sound to it. Not unlike the call sign of a great Tijuana American alternative music radio station: 91x.