Folx vs. Folks: Why is "folx" more inclusive than "folks"?
Why is "folks" not gender neutral?
Some articles suggest that "folx" is more inclusive because it is gender neutral. This explanation has drawn criticism, as skeptics correctly point out that "folks" is already gender neutral.
The reason we need "folx" in addition to the gender-neutral "folks" is to indicate inclusion of other marginalized groups including people of color (POCs) and trans people.
How can "folks" be used to exclude marginalized groups?
For people who belong to these marginalized groups, inclusion cannot be taken for granted. If you want to indicate to those groups that you mean to include them, using the word "folx" can be useful shorthand.
One example of how some people use an exclusionary verion of the word "folks" is Trans-Exclusion Radical Feminists (TERFs). These women, calling themselves feminists, fight for the rights of only women who were assigned female at birth (AFAB). In addition, they often willfully ignore the needs of women of color.
Is it wrong to use the word "folks" now?
Of course not! There is nothing inherently exclusive about the word "folks". But in certain contexts it can be useful to use the alternative spelling "folx" to symbolize inclusion of POC and trans people.
Use your best judgement! and when it's possible, check in with your marginalized audiences to determine when and if it's appropriate.
What is the origin of the term "folx"?
The first known use of the word "folx" was on Urban Dictionary in April 26, 2006 by a user under the name Ranmoth.