UC San Diego has begun using new words to refer to Latinos and Chicanos in a move that reflects the profound change that’s occurring nationally in the way many people define their gender and sexuality. The gender-specific terms Latino and Chicano are being selectively replaced with Latinx and Chicanx to promote acceptance of virtually anyone who falls under the headings. The change is being promoted by students, social justice activists and the LGBTQ community, which are trying to get people to look beyond conventional notions of gender, sex and appearance. As broadly used, Latino refers to people of Latin American origin or descent. Latinx includes men and women of Latin American descent, people who are not exclusively male or female, people who don’t think of themselves as a man or a woman, and people who don’t act or dress in ways that are common to people of their gender.
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