"Latinx" is one of those fake words like "womyn" that few use outside universities and marketing departments. It is a particularly clumsy way of trying to ban certain kinds of speech, in this case, by getting rid of the "gendered" words that are inherent to Spanish.
Of course, actual Hispanics think it is stupid. About 98 percent don't use the world [How do U.S. Hispanics prefer to describe their ethnicity?, Think Now, January 2020]. The word Hispanic is just fine because it's not "gendered," to use academic lingo. It applies to men, women, straight people, gay people, and whoever else.
Nonetheless, someone invented a problem that needs to be solved. I don't think "Latinx" will go away. Those who have control over the culture like the word, and that's really all you need.
Young activists gave a push to Latinx in political campaigns in the last election cycle. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., used the term in 2019 during her presidential campaign.
“Latinx is now widely used in the academia to reflect an awareness of the intersection of gender and sexuality,” said Duno-Gottberg, who teaches in Rice’s Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies. He said the identifier is mostly embraced by younger generations.
It isn’t clear who coined the word, but young scholars developed it as an inclusive term in the LGBTQ communities to describe Latinos who are gender nonconforming, said Duno-Gottberg. Latinx became an academic identifier to eliminate the gender markers in the Spanish nouns Latina for feminine and Latino for masculine.
The consonant “x” created a gender-neutral option in the United States. Outside of the U.S., the word Latine is used for the same purposes.
[Over 90% of Hispanics and Latinos don't like to be called Latinx, by Oliva Tallet, Houston Chronicle, January 26, 2021]
I suspect one of the major struggles in the coming years will be to exclude predominantly European people of Spanish or Portuguese descent from identifying as “Hispanic.” As the “Flight From White” shows us, “white privilege” isn’t actually all that valuable. In contrast, non-white privilege gives you real, concrete, tangible economic advantages in the job market, higher education, and government contracts.
“Latinx” may be force-fed Americans as those within the Coalition of the Oppressed seek to defend their lucrative territory. If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it’s that given sufficient media coverage and a consistent Narrative, most people will eventually come to believe in anything.
I wonder whether the word “Hispanic” will eventually be considered offensive, like the formerly innocuous word “Negro.” I wouldn’t call a black man a Negro because he would (rightly) consider it an insult. However, few would have been offended in the 1960s. It probably would have been the polite way blacks identified themselves. Today, the preferred term is "people of color," while "colored people" (the same exact thing) is a career-ending slur.
Language, like everything else, is the product of power. I suspect Latinx will go from fringe, to cutting edge, to eventually mandated within a fairly short time. What actual Hispanics want will have very little to do with what happens. It's about what those in control want people to conform to. In this case, it will be about creating an identity that isn't linked to the Iberian Peninsula and its "problematic" history of the reconquista, colonization, and being part of that Continent of Evil known as Europe.