On February 21st, I attended a talk on the “Latinx” movement. There were three speakers, one woman from Italy who identifies as latina, and two cismales - one of which was homosexual and the other was heterosexual. They were all very open and lively, keeping the interest of the audience. I found my eyes very drawn to the jewelry that one of the men wore with his suit in place of a tie, an interesting and new style choice.
After their introductions, they had us turn to someone near us and take a couple of minutes to introduce ourselves. The point to take from this was to notice what we were and weren’t comfortable sharing with someone. Words have power to them and the labels we may use to describe ourselves influence what the person naturally assumes about us.
They opened the event by instructing a mini dance session. It made me think back to my childhood when my Tio Edgar from Puerto Rico came to visit and we were dancing in the living room. Many people, including myself, were hesitant to start dancing. It’s such an unusual thing when in a military environment, so the dancing was a nice change.
They used the dancing to lead into a discussion of how the “Latinx” movement is an attempt to remove gender roles and expectations from the Spanish language. They explained that there is the assumption that the man leads and the woman follows when people get on a dance floor. They offered an “Invitation to see through a new lens.” This vision includes anyone dancing with anyone. This way anyone can lead or follow, as well as people being able to switch between leading and following.
Overall, I think that the “Latinx” movement has good intentions. However, looking at the issue realistically, it will be incredibly difficult to have all Spanish speakers accept and cooperate with this major change in the language. If this is to be implemented, I don’t foresee it happening for many years - until this current, younger and more liberal-minded generation outnumbers the more conservative generation that holds most power positions.