Queering the “x” in Latinx : A Queer, Feminist Theorization of Latinidad
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This essay uses the queerifying Latinx to theorize a new formation of latinidad: a queer, feminist, intersectional latinidad. Queer, feminist, intersectional theory is utilized to argue that Latinx can be a site of decolonial resistance when grounded in queer, feminist, intersectional theory. This process entails Latinxs radically defining their heterogeneous identities “from within as a form of resistance” rather than following hegemonic, colonial formations of individual/collective identities that negatively stereotype Latinx people. The essay further analyzes how the “x” can truly be a more inclusive label of queer Latinxs identities, lives, and histories (since the terms origins come from queer community conversations online) when simultaneously commanding that people who identify with the term critically look at its problematic, oppressive, and exclusionary dimensions/politics. To engage a variety of perspectives on this topic, the paper uses the scholarly work of over 15 authors with expertise in language, sexuality, gender, ethnoracial studies, and latinidad from the continental U.S., the Caribbean, and Latin America to engage in dialogue on what the “x” signifies as a linguistic and ethnoracial marker of 21st century understandings of Latinidad. As a result of my analysis, the major trends focused on how queer theory and radical women of color feminist theory combat colonial constructions of identity and language practices through decolonized individual and community consciousness; and radical dialogues on what it means to be Latinx in the context of the U.S. and its relationship to colonialism and Latin America. My findings show that Latinx can indeed become a decolonial site of resistance as long as Latinx people can examine their own oppressive biases and internalized oppressions to understand different subgroups, such as queer/gender nonconforming and feminist folk, who want to be more centered in the collective struggle, and identity, shared as Latinxs.
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