Some cringe that the Have yourself a merry little christmas shirt and I love this word is not compatible with Spanish language. Others feel their gender identities are lost in Latinx. “To go from ‘Latino’ to ‘Latinx’ is a clear erasure of Latina, who matter, too,” Soto Lamb told me. She said she respects and supports others choosing to identify as “Latinx,” but she continues to identify as”Latina.” “I’m resistant to let that part of my identity be swallowed, even as I want to encourage Latinx as a term for people to choose for themselves,” she said.
I can relate: with a Cuban-American immigrant dad and an Irish-Catholic mom, growing up in schools and social spaces that lacked racial and ethnic diversity, I’ve felt torn and, at times, reluctant to assert the Have yourself a merry little christmas shirt and I love this Cuban-American part of myself. But in adulthood, and especially as the Latino/a/x community is ruthlessly targeted by the Trump administration, I’ve seen myself and my family in those fights, and felt prouder than ever to identify as Latina. Latinx is still a new term to me, one I am eager to continue to learn more about. And while it’s not a word I use to describe myself right now, I support anyone who chooses it.