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A case for the "e" in gender neutral Spanish

Language transforms over time, but rarely do people experience an intentional moment to participate in democratic language experimentation and possibility. In other words, to not just fight for creating a new word, but to also argue for—and model—an encompassing change in grammatical structure that explicitly challenges a patriarchal worldview. That means not just arguing for inclusive or gender-neutral terms—but in the case of Spanish—for also changing a binary gendered language that centers men and the masculine—even when referring to a mixed-gender group of people.

In Mexico, specifically, I have noticed this fascinating competition between multiple queer political agendas and feminisms that promote different gender-inclusive or gender radical language use. We are already seeing an increasing adoption of the “x” to turn words like Latino into Latinx. While an important expression of queer recognition, I make the case to use an “e” to turn words like Latino into Latine instead. Using the “e” in reference to gendered subjects both furthers gender equality and is easier to incorporate into daily spoken Spanish.

Purposeful rule-based changes in grammar could transform queer language play into a full out Spanish-language educational intervention for future Spanish speakers and learners. Read my essay here!

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