14.12: Writing The Other — Latinx Representation

Your Hosts: Dan Wells, Tempest Bradford, DongWon Song, and Julia Rios

Julia Rios joins us to talk about writing characters who come from one of the many Latin-American cultures or subcultures. “Latinx” is a catch-all term for people with Latin-American heritage, including mixed-race people. In this episode we talk about mash-up cuisine, intersectionality, and how to navigate the subtleties to find the specific cultural elements which will help you create Latinx characters.

Credits: This episode was recorded by Bert Grimm, and mastered by Alex Jackson.


Research and then write a meal scene in the POV of a person from a specific culture.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, by  Carlos Hernandez

6 thoughts on “14.12: Writing The Other — Latinx Representation”

  1. I would think that Brazilians are Latinx, no, though the country was not colonized by Spain? So Latinx as Spanish/Portuguese, where Hispanic is what Julia is referring to here?

  2. A couple different times on here, Julia defined Latinx specifically as people from parts of the Americas which were originally colonized by Spain. So I have to wonder, what about Brazilians? Brazil of course was colonized by Portugal, and they speak Portuguese as a first language rather than Spanish, but a lot of people would consider Brazil as part of Latin America. So… do people of Brazilian descent count?

    Also, I loved all the talk about food. I sort of had the general impression that everything “south of the border” was Mexican food until I actually visited South America and found a land where nobody knew what a taco or a burrito was, but they had all sorts of new and delicious culinary experiences for me to enjoy instead!

    1. This was an excellent podcast, with but I also immediately noted the focus on Spanish areas and heritage to the exclusion of other areas of Central/South America. Granted, that’s in part because I’m married to a Brazilian, but I also recognize it’s a common oversight. I think it illustrates how much material there is here, to the degree that you could do a second podcast on this same topic.

      My wife has a great story about when she first came to the U.S. from Brazil. This was in Utah, as a matter of fact, in Salt Lake City. Someone acted surprised that she hadn’t eaten a burrito before and asked her if she knew what it was. She shrugged and said, “A little donkey?”

  3. Actually this is a nice way to enrichen your fictional world, I will make some research (I am particulary excited about the food thing) . I didn’t know the therm Latinx existed .

  4. Hi, people!

    I am Brazilian and, to answer the people who are asking: yes, we consider our country as part of Latin America. I believe the reason why people call it “Latin” America is that these countries speak Latin-based languages (Portuguese and Spanish) or were colonized by these countries.

    And that was a great podcast! I always knew it wasn’t an easy task to write “the other”, but also never really noticed there were so many and complex aspects to cover when doing it.

    It was of great help! Thanks!

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