Everything You Need to Know About Latina, Latino, Latinx, Hispanic, and Latine Identities
Our community is as beautiful as it is expansive and diverse. And yes, every single one of these identities is valid. Let’s explore what that means:
I was born and raised in Argentina. Ever since I arrived in the US, I have had trouble finding a definition that “fits me.” Am I Hispanic? Latina? Latinx? Latine? I had no idea!
Because, at the end of the day, I was already from Latin America, and we don’t necessarily address ourselves as “Latino” — That’s who we are already? And, to be honest, back home, the conversation around race and ethnicity is at a completely different stage. So these conversations… don’t really happen that often? Or at all?!?!
And to top it all off, Latin America and the Latin American experience are not a monolith.
Every country — and sometimes every province, State, region, or city — has its own rules and its own ideas of identity and expression. There are so many nationalities, languages, and ethnicities in the Latin American community that finding one word to describe us all, in all our complexity and diversity, seems… well, not easy!
When I first arrived in New York, as a 30-year-old bureaucracy-baby, I found myself not fully understanding how to answer the question, “What’s your race/ethnicity?’.
It was literally the first time someone, anyone actually, asked me that question in my life.
I WAS CONFUSED.
Now that a few years have passed and I’ve grown, both as a DEI Professional and as a Human Being, I’d love to share what I have learned since then; maybe my journey will help clear a thing or two for you as well:
Hispanic is an identity term coined & adopted by the US Government in an attempt to identify different groups of people, regardless of race and ethnicity.
YEAH — NOT GREAT.
Basically, the US Government just grouped together every Latin American and Spanish culture under the same term because…