Folx (term)

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Folx, an alternative spelling of the word folks, is a gender neutral collective noun used to address a group of people.[1] Although the term "folks" is already gender-neutral, the ending "-x" on "folx" specifically and explicitly includes and highlights LGBTQ, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people (who do not identify within the gender binary),[2] just like the "-x" in the term Latinx.[3] It can also be used to signal inclusion of people of color[4].


According to Word Spy lexicographer Paul McFedries, the spelling "folx" has existed for "at least a century".[5] According to McFedries, the first published use of "folx" in its modern sense appeared in 2001 in a blog post written by BiNet Los Angeles board member and owner of Clare in describing her identity as well as other queer identities.[6][7] The first documented definition of "folx" appeared in 2006, when an individual named Ranmoth provided a definition of "folx" on Urban Dictionary.[8] In a 2014 Tumblr post the activist organization Trans Folx Fighting Eating Disorders cited inclusion of queer, transgender, and gender diverse identities as their reason for their exclusive use of this spelling.[9] In particular, LGBTQ communities of color have embraced the term "folx" to emphasize that the presence of a binary gender system in indigenous societies is a product of colonization and oppression of indigenous peoples.[10][11] According to linguistics professor and blogger Lal Zimman, the "x" suggests solidarity with marginalized communities and represents "the everyday people".[5][12]

A 2016 study showed that only a small percentage of queer, transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer people had familiarity with the term "folx".[13] Most frequent usage of the term occurs in California.[9][10] Through Tumblr blogs, increased recognition of the term in safe space training, and the spread of the word through activist circles, some academics anticipate that the term will gain more currency in English-speaking colleges and universities.[14][15][16][17] The term appears in some books and scholarly publications.[18][19][20][21]

See also[edit]

  • Gender-neutral language
  • Gender neutrality in languages with grammatical gender
  • Gender neutrality in English
  • Latinx
  • Mx (title)


  1. Tara K. Soughers (2018). Beyond a Binary God: A Theology for Trans* Allies. Church Publishing, Inc. p. 17. ISBN 9780898690057. Search this book on Logo.png
  2. Kapitan, Alex (12 September 2016). "Ask a Radical Copyeditor: Folx". Radical Copyeditor.
  3. Pastrana, Jr., Antonio (Jay); Battle, Juan; Harris, Angelique (2016). An Examination of Latinx LGBT Populations Across the United States: Intersections of Race and Sexuality. p. 4. ISBN 9781137560742. In this document, however, we will use the term "Latinx." It is similar to "Latino," but the "x" erases gender, making the category inclusive of men, women, agendered, trans*, gender-nonconforming, gender-queer and gender-fluid people. Search this book on Logo.png
  4. "What does the term "folx" mean? - For Folx Sake". For Folx Sake Podcast. 2019-09-08. Retrieved 2019-09-13.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Peters, Mark (2017-05-09). "Womyn, wimmin, and other folx". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  6. "Clare". Queer By Choice. 2001. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  7. "folx". World Spy. 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  8. "Folx". Urban Dictionary. 2006-04-26. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Why do you use the term "folx"? I'm curious about spelling it that way instead of "folks"". T-FFED: TRANS FOLX FIGHTING EATING DISORDERS. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Porter, Tori-Ann (2015–2016). "Open Letter to the Oppressor" (PDF). Prized Writing 2015–2016: 9–18.
  11. Torrez, Danielle. "Mixed-Race Folx". Sutori. Retrieved 2018-01-21.
  12. Zimman, Lal (2017). "Transgender language reform: Challenges and strategies for promoting trans-affirming, gender-inclusive language". Journal of Language and Discrimination. 1: 84–105. doi:10.1558/jld.33139.
  13. Hord, Levi C.R. (2016). "Bucking the Linguistic Binary: Gender Neutral Language in English, Swedish, French, and German". Western Papers in Linguistics / Cahiers linguistiques de Western. 3 – via Scholarship@Western.
  14. Sparks, Tori Anna (2017). "This is a Closed Space for Queer Identifying Folx": Queer Spaces on Campus. Honors Thesis (Thesis). Oberlin College.
  15. Lindsey, Treva B. (2016). "The #BlackFeministFiyah Re-Up: An Introduction". The Black Scholar: Journal of Black Studies and Research. 46 (2): 1–4. doi:10.1080/00064246.2016.1147931.
  16. Spitzer, Dalice Marie (2011). Understanding My Body as Monstrous: Feminism, the Transsexual Body, & the Rhetoric of Monstrosity. Dissertation. Chicago, IL: Roosevelt University: Roosevelt University. Search this book on Logo.png
  17. Hitchins, Jessi (2017). Entanglements of Sexualities and Genders within Higher Education Employees and Policies. Dissertation. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama. Search this book on Logo.png
  18. Brettschneider, Marla; Burgess, Susan; Keating, Christine (2017). LGBTQ Politics: A Critical Reader. p. 40. ISBN 9781479893874. Search this book on Logo.png
  19. Sparks, Tory (2016–2017). This is a Closed Space for Queer-Identifying Folx (Thesis).
  20. Martin, Alexandrea (2018). Challenging Corrections: Empowering LGBTQ Folx (BA Thesis).
  21. Procter, Jenna-Lee (May 10, 2018). "Rethinking disability: The need to rethink representation". African Journal of Disability. 7: 498. doi:10.4102/ajod.v7i0.498. PMC 5968877.

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