With this month being Hispanic Heritage Month, I decided to look up what native hispanohablantes (Spanish speakers) thought about this:
Me, personally? I’m not a native speaker, but I think it sounds dumb. 😬 The “gender neutral” form is Latino (ex. “celebrate Latino culture”). Latina is the feminine version. If you’re referring to a group of at least one male, the form is Latinos (ex. “a lot of my friends are “Latinos”). If you REALLY want to emphasis that you’re also including Latinas and feel that just Latinos isn’t cutting it, you can say “Latinos and Latinas” (or Latinos/as for short).
And just FYI, the masculine/feminine ending applies to almost every word, not just people. Chair = silla (feminine). Car = carro/aúto (masculine). If you wanted to say “red chair” = “silla roja” (with rojo being the masculine/gender neutral version). It’s literally how the language works.
Source: took Spanish for 2 semesters
EDIT: I just thought of something. What if the person is nonbinary? I looked this up. When they say -o is gender neutral, they really do mean GENDER NEUTRAL. -o (as in Latino) should be used for nonbinary people. This is how it is, grammatically.
Source: native speakers on reddit (see link in above paragraph. The responses are kind of harsh, but they get their point across.)
- -o: gender neutral
- -o: masculine
- -a: feminine