Connecticut Bill, Pushed by Hispanic Democrats, Would Ban ‘Woke’ Term ‘Latinx’
Pat Eaton-Robb, Associated Press, February 1, 2023
A group of Hispanic lawmakers in Connecticut has proposed that the state follow Arkansas’ lead and ban the term “Latinx” from official government documents, calling it offensive to Spanish speakers.
The word is used as a gender-neutral alternative to “Latino” and “Latina” and is helpful in supporting people who do not identify as either male or female, according to the word’s backers.
But state Rep. Geraldo Reyes Jr. of Waterbury, the bill’s chief sponsor and one of five Hispanic Democrats who put their names on the legislation, said Latinx is not a Spanish word but is rather a “woke” term that is offensive to Connecticut’s large Puerto Rican population.
“I’m of Puerto Rican decent and I find it offensive,” he said.
Last month, Arkansas banned government officials from using Latinx on formal documents as part of several orders issued by Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders within hours of her taking office.
The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest Latino civil rights group in the U.S., announced in 2021 that it would no longer use the term Latinx.
But Maia Gil’Adi, an assistant professor of “Latinx and Multiethnic Literature” at Boston University, said the word actually dates back to Latino and Latina youth and queer culture in the 1990s, with the “x” being a nod to many people’s indigenous roots.