Since everyone on Twitter dot com is out here having an opinion on the term Latinx, I, a Latinx person who uses the word will now add my two cents:
I am not in the business of telling people of a particular group how to self-identify, including people from my own ethnicity. I wish more people took a page from this book.

This is my own, specific opinion as a Latin-American immigrant.
I use Latinx when speaking in English to self-identify usually to English-speakers because I do think that "Latino/a" is not gender-inclusive and frankly I am not interested in gendering my ethnicity and bringing my gender into all my discussions about my ethnicity.
The conversations about how Latinx works with Spanish grammar is, to me, irrelevant.

A significant portion of the Latin American community in the United States does not speak a word of Spanish. Rules about what language can and can't do are wildly narrow, outdated, and shitty.
I could do an entire TED talk about how for many Latinx folks with strong ties to their indigenous and/or African ancestors, the Spanish language is the language of their colonizers.

So, forgive me for not giving a shit about what the kingdom of Spain's language rules are.
[Insert reminder here that I have mentioned I am a Latin American immigrant, and that in fact, my first language was Spanish and I remain fully billingual]
Since I am speaking about my own lived experience, I will mention that I have no emotional ties at all to Spain, I have never considered it my motherland, and I am not alone in this experience.

That almost definitely influences my irreverence to the language rules.
Other Latin American folks feel differently, many feel strong ties to Spain, many outwardly hate Spain. It's complicated.

This plays into the larger theme of this conversation: the Latinx experience is extremely varied.
Now, I am an activist and I spend a lot of my activism on Twitter dot com speaking to the 3% of other activists who use this term.

(It's also shorter than "Latin American" so it helps with the character limit.)
Again, I often found that gendering sometimes gets in the way of my talking about the Latinx experience at large. (I wonder if I would feel this way if I was a man. Probably not.)
I also studied politics at the graduate level and do think Latinx serves its purpose in academic settings.

However, as my second tweet in this thread said - I am not in the business of telling people how to self-identify. I also use the term Latina sometimes. It's cool.
I am constantly scratching my head about this conversation because I have never felt pressured in any way to use any particular term and frankly have no idea what the fuck most of you are so stressed out about.

But I do have some practical advice:
1. If you are speaking to a group of people and don't know what term to use "Latin American" almost always works and it's gender-neutral. No ruffled feathers here.
2. If you are speaking to an individual who you think is Latin American and you'd like to refer to them with something that is even more personalized, ask them what nationality they are! I am Honduran! Thank you for asking!
2a. The Latinx experience is VERY varied and our experiences within our own nationalities matter A LOT to us. The Honduran experience is not the Cuban experience and it's not the Argentine experience either.
2b. We can talk about the Latinx communities in the United States as an ethnicity, but frankly, that conversation often gets way oversimplified and ignores the differences within our nationalities. We can talk broadly and still understand it's full of variances and nuance.
3. Read the room. Is it full of activists/academics? Latinx is probably fine. Latino/a is often fine. Insult someone? Just listen to why they feel insulted, get over yourself, and apologize. This isn't hard.
Many words can exist at the same time to describe the same thing. As always, just keep learning, be kind, and don't tell people how to identify.
*I am assuming that you are talking to people here in some situation in which their ethnicity is relevant.

If it's not, don't ask people "WHAT are you?" If we want to talk about our ethnicity we will let you know.

"What country is your family originally from?" Works better.

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More from @carazelaya

29 May
While I've got the Vice President here, let's have a little history lesson about the dog-whistle that is the phrase "law and order." When people in positions of power spout the phrase "law and order" you can be pretty confident that they are white-supremacists. 1/
In the history of the United States, the phrase "law and order" rose to major prominence during Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign to appeal to white voters who were angry about integration and the riots and protests that broke out as a result of MLK's assassination. 2/
"Law and order" is one of those buzzy phrases that folks will insist are two words joined together with literal definitions. But no. Etymology matters.

Nixon is quoted years later underlining "It’s all about law and order and the damn Negro-Puerto Rican groups out there.” 3/
Read 11 tweets

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