There seems to be a debate raging over whether the term Latino(a) or Hispanic is the proper term for people who were born in, or descended from, the 22 Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America.
I use the term Hispanic and Latina interchangeably. Growing up it was always Hispanic, but the term Latina seems to be in fashion now. For me, it’s no biggie. I identify with both. However, my Casa Latina partner and cousin, Marlene, is adamant about being called Latina. She – and many others I have talked to – considers the term Hispanic insulting. Her now famous line – in our family anyway – is “I don’t ‘hiss’ and I don’t ‘panic’ so I’m not ‘Hispanic’.” She feels Latina is empowering and Hispanic is derogatory.
Then, of course, there is this issue: which of the 22 Spanish-speaking countries you came from? If it is Mexico, do you consider yourself more Mexican-America than Latino(a) or Hispanic? While we recognize the possibility of identifying more with a subcategory than with the more general term, for the purposes of this survey we will stick to Hispanic vs. Latino(a). Why complicate an already complicated debate?
Casa Latina fans, can we put this debate to an end once and for all? Do you identify as Latino(a) or Hispanic? Or does it really matter in the end?