Latina or Latinx? Check Out What Ally Brooke, Emily Estefan and Valeria Hinojosa Told Us!
Latina or Latinx? That's the question posed to artists and entrepreneur Ally Brooke, Emily Estefan and Valeria Hinojosa during a People en Español panel, "Latinx: Why The X," that explored the complexity of the term and how each identify as Hispanic women in the U.S.
During a 45-minute conversation with People en Español Vice President, Publisher Monique Manso, all three said they prefer the term Latina —but some, like Hinojosa, use Latinx in her social media to be more inclusive with her followers. Hinojosa also recalled her childhood years in Bolivia, where she said she grew up believing that Latino meant being inferior, something that filled her with a shame she was able to shed as an adult.
"Society constantly reminded me that Latinos and Latinas were inferior and I carried so much shame of my hair color, my skin, speaking English maybe with an accent. And for me it was a matter of... trying to heal all that and seeing beyond my upbringing in a way and reconnecting with my roots to the fullest so I can then embrace them and share that on my social media," said the influencer and creator of the blog Water Thru Skin. "Whenever I talk about being a Latina, I say it proudly now, after a 7-year journey of reconnecting with myself and my essence and those beautiful traditions that we have."
Estefan, who also self-identifies as Latina, added that the term Latinx provides a space for people who want to identify beyond gender. "It's beautiful to include terms that make people feel comfortable", she said adding that for many Spanish speakers it's a word that "doesn't feel comfortable."
"We [Latinos] live in a world where we don't have spaces to feel comfortable, but the space I feel comfortable in is Latina because reclaiming the empowerment of being a woman, regardless of your sexuality, is my journey right now," said the Cuban American singer-songwriter and co-host of Red Table Talk: The Estefans.
Ally, a former member of Fifth Harmony who was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, said she identifies more with the term Latina but respects those who prefer to use Latinx.
"I feel like it's my responsibility to make everyone feel comfortable and welcomed, and I try to do that with my music, with my message, with what I put out on social media the best way I can and kind of encouraging everyone to just be their authentic selves and me as well," said the Mexican American singer who recently dropped a Spanish-language single, "Mi música."
Watch their powerful conversation in full above!