Republicans say it's "woke." Democrats say using it is cultural appropriation. Latinos don't seem to embrace it.
Although polls show most U.S. Hispanics are not familiar with the term, it has gained popularity during the past few years, even though it was coined two decades ago. It's a neologism that represents an alternative to the gendered terms "Latino" and "Latina."
Now, both Democrats and Republicans want to ban it in official documents.
Democratic Representative Geraldo Reyes Jr. chief-sponsored a bill last January in Connecticut proposing its ban. He referred to the term as "offensive" and "unnecessary." Meanwhile, in Arkansas, Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders banned it on her first day in office via an executive order.
Proponents of the term say it gives people the option to opt out of the gender binary. But according to a 2020 Pew Research Center survey, even though one in four Hispanics in the U.S. has heard the term, only 3% use it.
In the Pew Research survey, 14% of women ages 18 to 14% said they use it, as opposed to only 1% of men in the same age group.
Maia Gil’Adi, a specialist in Latinx literature and culture at Boston University, recently told Associated Press that “the word Latino is incredibly exclusionary" and "the term Latinx is really useful because of the way it challenges those conceptions.”
Regardless, the term might completely disappear from official documents in the next few years.