LGBT activists at New York University have invented another "gender-neutral" term for Latinos, Campus Reform reported on Monday.
The university's LGBTQ+ Center on its Instagram announced "identity-based" graduation celebrations for "graduating students of color and LGBTQ+ students," including one event for "Latine" graduates. The new term is the second attempt at popularizing a "gender-neutral" alternative to Latino, with the first such attempt being "Latinx." Student activists and administrators at other universities have agitated to replace "Latinx" with "Latine" or use both terms to promote "inclusivity."
"Latine" is even more uncommon than the already little-used "Latinx," Campus Reform found.
Though just 3 percent of Hispanic Americans identify as "Latinx," activists and liberal politicians in recent years have pushed for adoption of the neologism. At least 40 percent of Latino Americans say it "bothers or offends them," according to a 2021 Gallup poll. Nearly half of Democratic members used it in the last congressional term.
Moderate Democrats like Rep. Ruben Gallego (Texas), however, have banned staff from using the term, noting it is deployed "largely to appease white rich progressives." White liberals are nine times more likely than Hispanics to say "Latinx," according to a January poll.
The linguistic struggle is underscored by a shift in electoral politics. Hispanic voters support for Democrats is cratering. Latinos now back Republicans by 9 percentage points in November's midterm elections, according to a March Wall Street Journal poll.