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Cartoon of the outline of Mexico saying “Latinx?” and Argentina saying “Que?” and Colombia saying “No entiendo.”

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“Latinx” is growing in popularity. I made a comic to help you understand why.

The gender-neutral term that’s supposed to be for everyone, well, isn’t.

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Part of Issue #7 of The Highlight, our home for ambitious stories that explain our world.

“You say Latinx.” Another mini comic by Terry Blas.
According to a widely shared op-ed in a college newspaper, written by Gilbert Orbea and Gilbert Guerra, Latinx is ... problematic at best, due to English speakers imposing social norms on other cultures.
Because of its different pronunciations and because it’s a relatively new term used mostly in the United States, it’s easy to be confused by it. I personally haven’t heard many people who live in Spanish-speaking countries use it. ...
[In] Spanish ... all nouns are either masculine or feminine. Some people just say these are “gendered languages.” ... In Spanish, there are two words for “the.” El is the masculine form of “the.” La is the feminine form of “the.”
.. the letters “o” and “a” are used to indicate male and female. This is why people say latino for male and latina for female ... “O” is also the letter used when referring to a collective group of men and women ... “Latinos.”
So because gender is a construct, this creates a whole host of problems, linguistically. (“I don’t identify with either gender,“ says a person in the comic. “And I’m gender-fluid,“ says another. “What are we supposed to use?” they both ask.)
One solution might be to use this: “Latinx definition: a person of Latin American origin or descent (used as a gender-neutral or nonbinary alternative to Latino or Latina.)” But this isn’t the only definition.
... And then I discovered a Mexican drag competition on YouTube called Las Mas Draga! When welcoming the contestants, ... [the host] replaced every gendered vowel with an E.” “Bienvenides a todes!” It blew my mind! It was inclusive and easy to pronounce!
The writer, Terry Blas, discovers he likes using an “e” as a nongendered letter for plural words. So, instead of “Amigos” he will use “Amigues.”

Further reading

Terry Blas is the illustrator and writer behind the autobiographical comics “Ghetto Swirl” and “You Say Latino.” Terry’s work has appeared in the comics Steven Universe, The Amazing World of Gumball, Adventure Time, and Rick and Morty. His first graphic novel, Dead Weight: Murder at Camp Bloom, is a murder mystery set at a weight-loss camp. His second graphic novel, Hotel Dare, is an all-ages sci-fi/fantasy/adventure inspired by his childhood memories of Mexico.


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