Culture

What Shall We Call Us? The Debate Around “Latinx” Continues

If you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet, 1) yikes and 2) you’re probably familiar with seeing “Latino/a,” which is clunkily condensed as “Latin@.” It’s been around for a while and is, ostensibly, a way to streamline the label, while applying to both men and women.

More and more, you might have noticed a new option popping up online: Latinx.

So, how is Latinx different from Latin@, exactly?

For one, it’s easier and faster to type out, which is kind of nice for the lazily-inclined among us. It’s also a term that allows for intersectionality and includes identities beyond a gender binary. It is, in a word, inclusive.

The term, though relatively new, has already inspired its share of controversy and debate. The site Latino Rebels, for instance, featured arguments both in favor of and against the term, taking into account factors like the history and implications of the term “Latino,” the term’s ties (or lack thereof) to the Spanish language, and the idea of subverting or reclaiming existing terms rather than creating new news.

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Credit: Alex Alvarez / mitú

For example, in their argument for the use of Latinx, professors María R. Scharréon-Del Río and Alan A. Aja write that opposing “Latinx” on the grounds that it isn’t in Spanish shows a narrow view of what it really means, historically and right now, to belong to this particular group:

Are we not aware that upon the arrival of the conquistadores and subsequent acts of genocide, a few thousand indigenous languages existed in the Americas, and a few resilient hundred continue to be spoken today? Not to mention the attempted erasure of African languages via the violence of slavery and colonialism.

Moreover, indigenous languages in Latin America (and throughout the world) range from the genderless to the multigendered, going beyond the binary. This is another instance in which Guerra and Orbea, while claiming to denounce imperialism, actually fall into one of the markers of colonization: the erasure of indigenous history and its cultural legacy.

As for an argument against adopting the term, Latino Rebels deputy editor Hector Luis Alamo writes that, among other factors, the label doesn’t actually ensure that its adopters do the work needed to address issues surrounding intersectionality and gender and, besides, words and their meanings aren’t necessarily immutable:

For those hung up on the -o, I suggest they worry less about the history of Latino and discover its present meaning. Language isn’t dead, after all, but living. Definitions continue to transform all the time, all around us. The word no longer applies strictly to male Latinos but all Latinos, just as the “men” in “all men are created equal” now means all people. The word queer, for example, literally means “odd” or “worthless,” a fact which doesn’t keep millions in the LGBT community from donning the term proudly. The word Latino, once a fork, has evolved into a spork, and so there’s no reason to invent an all-purpose substitute.

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Credit: Alex Alvarez / mitú

Latina magazine, for its part, asked several transgender and gender non-conforming people to share why they personally prefer the term. One respondent explained that, for them, “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.” Another noted that Spanish is a very gendered language adding, “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.”

It’s also worth pointing out that many of the same arguments that hold true for Latinx can also be applied to Chicanx.

So tell us: What do you think of the term?

Do you use it? Do you think it’s more relevant than using “Latino/a” or “Latin@”? Or maybe you identity as none of those terms and want to share which one you prefer!

Either way, let us know. We’re all ears.

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Credit: Tumblr

WATCH: Being Latina Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All: I Like to Listen to Heavy Metal, I Like Tattoos and I’m Latina

Want to share your views? We want to hear ’em. Tell us what you think, below.

Afro-Puerto Rican Trans Voguing Legend Leiomy Maldonado To Judge Voguing Competition Show

Culture

Afro-Puerto Rican Trans Voguing Legend Leiomy Maldonado To Judge Voguing Competition Show

wond3rwoman1 / Instagram

There’s no doubt that FX’s hit show “Pose” put voguing on the mainstream map. Queer people of color are the central characters of the show and the authentic and unflinching representation has changed the television landscape. So, of course, HBO is now bringing Ballroom culture to millions.

Afro-Puerto Rican voguing superstar Leiomy Maldonado is bringing Ballroom to the masses.

Trans voguing royalty Leiomy Maldonado, also known as Amazon Leiomy, will be a judge on HBOmax’s new competition show called “Legendary.” Eight houses will be competing on the show bringing Ballroom culture from underground and fiction to mainstream. The trailer for the show is already promising some gag-worthy moments as the Ballroom houses deliver incredible dancing.

Maldonado is a Ballroom veteran and house mother so her judgment on the show will hold a lot of weight.

Maldonado has been voguing in the Ballroom scene since she was a teenager. The Ballroom world gave Maldonado a chance to truly explore who she was and gave her a space to understand her trans identity.

As an Afro-Puerto Rican trans woman, Maldonado’s family had work to do to fully understand her. While Maldonado previously told mitú that it wasn’t until she was on “America’s Best Dance Crew” that they understood what her transition and dancing career meant.

Dashaun Wesley, also known as Dashaun Lanvin, will also be part of “Legendary” as the MC while Jameela Jamil will be a judge.

At first, Jamil was cast as the host and judge of “Legendary” but fans of Ballroom culture were not having it. The announcement faces instant and severe backlash and Jamil was suddenly no longer the host. It was shortly after the controversy that Jamil came out as queer and people questioner her motive for coming out.

There is so much love going to the people bringing this show to life.

This is a time of increasing representation on television. People want to see their stories and stories of the people they know and love reflected on big and small screens. HBOmax is taking the desire and offering people a chance to see their own queer identities and identities of those they love broadcast to the world.

Honestly, the name is perfectly fitting for the caliber of talent they have on the show.

Maldonado and Lanvin are among the most talked about and respected dancers in the voguing community. Maldonado is the mother of The House of Amazon, hence her nickname Amazon Leiomy. Lanvin’s own expertise in Ballroom culture landed him a spot on FX’s “Pose.” Lanvin plays Shadow Wintour in the series and serves the looks and moves to keep the show as exciting as it has ever been.

“Legendary” will be streaming on HBOmax on May 27.

Make sure you tune in to watch the various houses slay all day on that runway. They are guaranteed to give it all because that is just how voguers do. Thank you to all of the queer people of color who are putting this and other POC LGBTQ+ stories on the map one platform at a time.

READ: This Trans Puerto Rican Voguing Master Is So Iconic That Even Beyonce Imitated Her Dance Moves

20 Classic Latino Baby Names to Consider

Fierce

20 Classic Latino Baby Names to Consider

What is the most adorable battle of sexes that you are ever going to come across? I will give you the answer. It is an expecting couple cribbing, crying and fighting each other on choosing the best baby names. It is hard for a man not to be a fan of Latin American names if he is a football aficionado. Given that we are living in times that shall go down in history books as those that were owned by a Lionel Messi or a Neymar Junior, the names of football stars represent just the tip of the iceberg of human nomenclature in Latin America. Of course, you would not like to discuss footballer names if you have a girlfriend or a wife that has an aversion to football. But then, there are still some amazing female Latino names that pop up when you think of the long list of glitterati in the domains of entertainment, literature, spirituality, and music. Which Latino baby names would you and your partner choose?

Here we present you a compelling list of what we thought are the most common yet powerful names that epitomize the beauty of Latin America’s rich heritage and culture. We start with 10 Latino baby names for boys and then take you through another set of 10 Latino baby names for girls. Take a look.

Latino Baby Names for Boys

Santiago

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@Jenny Silverstone / Pinterest

First on our list is the name Santiago. A direct adaptation of the name of Saint James, in Latin, the name spells spiritual enlightenment, purity, and blissfulness in one breath. Beyond the spiritual connection, Santiago is also the capital of Chile.

Mateo

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@Baby Photos / Facebook

Second on our list of 20 classic Latino names is Mateo. Mateo is a name derived from the Spanish language and literally translates into the phrase of God “gift of God.” The name works really well if you and your life partner consider the boy to be a gift from Almighty.

Alejandro

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@queenz.kat / Pinterest

Third, on our list is a name that is rooted in ancient history. Alejandro is the Spanish variant of the original Greek name Alexander. The name has lived since ages and continues to remind people of what is capable through resolute action.

Third, on our list is a name that is rooted in ancient history. Alejandro is the Spanish variant of the original Greek name Alexander. The name has lived since ages and continues to remind people of what is capable through resolute action.

Diego

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@thebump / Pinterest

Fourth on our list of the best Latino names for baby boys is one that reflects wisdom. Diego is a Spanish name that refers to a teacher. If you and your partner look forward to having a baby boy that can one day evolve into an erudite person, this name certainly fits the bill like no other.

Leo

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@thebump / Pinterest

Fifth on our list of the best Latino names for baby boys is a name that represents the qualities of leadership and the royalty of a lion in the jungle. The name Leo is derived from the Latin language and means a lion. There are similar variants of the name across different languages in the world. The German name Leopold refers to people with the virtues of bravery and valor.

Valentino

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@rosiesradrama / Instagram

Sixth on our list is a name that has its roots in Italian history and is universally associated with virtues of large-heartedness, love, and peace. The name Valentino derives itself from the Italian variant of the Latin Valentinus that has also seen versions in other languages.

Bautista

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@thebump / Instagram

The seventh name unfortunately for wives and girlfriends again reflects back on football. Remember the Mexican footballer Adolfo Bautista. The name Bautista also has a high spiritual dimension in Christianity. Derived from the Spanish language the name refers to someone who has been baptized.

Esteban

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@healthybabies / Twitter

Eighth in the list is a name that again has its roots in Spanish and refers to the crown. You got that guys and gals. Esteban refers to the crown, the ornament that embellishes the heads of the few powerful and privileged ones, i.e. the kings.

Gonzalo

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@healthybabies / Twitter

Ninth on our list is the name Gonzales that means someone that saves from harm. If you couples out there look forward to having a baby boy that can grow up to be the savior of the people in the world, then this name that has its roots in Spanish is just for you.

Angel

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@healthybabies / Twitter

Tenth on our list of names is Angel. Highly popular across Latin American countries like Mexico and Argentina, the name refers to one that is God sent or divine.

Girl Names

Veronica

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@KateJusko / Pinterest

First in the list of girl names in Latin is Veronica. The name traces its roots to the Bible and refers to the maiden that had given her handkerchief to Christ. A popular name in Latin America, it is essentially derived from Spanish.

Valentia

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@KateJusko / Pinterest

Second, on our list of baby girl names is Valentia.  A typical Latin name, it symbolizes virtues of bravery and courage and is very popular in South America.

Amada

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@KateJusko / Pinterest

Third on our list of baby girl names is Amada. A Spanish name that means loved or beloved, it is perfect for your cute baby girl if you believe in the power of love.

Angelica

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@KateJusko / Pinterest

Third on our list of baby girl names is Amada. A Spanish name that means loved or beloved, it is perfect for your cute baby girl if you believe in the power of love.

Angelica

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@BabyGirl / Pinterest

Fourth on our list of baby names is the name Angelica, the feminine version of the name Angel. Representing the same virtues as the name of her male counterpart, the name derives itself from the Latin language.

Antonia

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@BabyGirl / Pinterest

Fifth on our list of names for baby girls is a name with Roman roots, Antonia. The feminine version of Antony, the name means someone who is invaluable and commendable.

Susanita

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@AfrinShaikh / Pinterest

Sixth on the list of names for your princess is the name Susanita, the Latin adaptation of the English name Suzana. Remember the lyrics of that immortal love song “Suzana I am crazy loving you.”

Amelia

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@AfrinShaikh /Pinterest

Seventh on the list blends names like Emilia and Amalia and is rooted in the Latin language. Amelia is a popular name for baby girls in Latin America and refers to virtues of industriousness and enterprise. It can also refer to someone who is the vanguard of something or people.

Isabella

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@ErikaEskamilla / Pinterest

Eighth on the list is a name that is an adaptation of Elizabeth and refers to one that is devoted to God. A popular name for girls in Latin America, the name reflects the widespread culture of the English, Portuguese and French royals having an Elizabeth in their courts.

Gabriela

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Pinterest@ Erika Eskamilla

Ninth on our list of baby girl names is Gabriela, the feminine version of Gabriel in Hebrew that literally translates into one that God gives strength to. It fits perfectly for parents looking for some divine inspiration from the name of Biblical saints.

Martina

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Pinterest@Haleyyxoo

Last on the list of baby names for girls and also in this collective of 20 classic Latino names is one that is inspired by sportspersons and Olympic champions, the most heard of being Martina Hingis. Martina is a Latin name for girls and has become synonymous with virtues of excellence in sports.

On a final note, you and your partner can continue to fight on all the petty issues of life ranging from football matches disturbing your schedules for candlelight dinners to the time that women take in front of the mirror to adorn themselves. Yet, these 20 classic Latino names should ideally provide you some meeting ground and serve the purpose of reminding you of what stands to be achieved for long lasting world peace! Cheers to your parenthood and choosing the right name for your baby.Toggle