What does changing one letter do?
It may seem like changing one letter does not make a difference in the grand scheme of things, but when you think about the effect of language you come to realize how having a way to express gender equity and sexual liberation is absolutely necessary in being activists for positive change. Changing one letter gives people the language necessary to verbalize their identities and advocate for their equal standing in society.
Why has pla shifted toward using the term Latinx (and amigx)?
On the board of PLA, we have members that encourage us to think about the issues that face those of us with a multitude of minority identities, including being female and/or queer. Out of a desire to be both inclusive and supportive of all members of our community we have adopted the use of the “X” to replace the gender binary “a” for women and “o” for men typically used in Spanish. This encourages all of us to think of gender as part of a continuum in which some of us do not fit the societally established normative understanding of gender.
Why not use Latin@?
Traditional Latin culture has certain norms and ideas of the position that women and men should play. As an organization that believes in the equity of all of its members, we believe that the @ symbol introduces the idea that the female “a” is contained in the male “o” and that this is suggestive of women’s traditionally inferior place in Latin culture. So, instead of using the @, we replaced it with the commonly accepted “x” that is not misogynistic in nature.