That woman has swag, and she doesn´t step aside for anyone by denise baez
Hi! My name is Denise Baez. I’ve lived in Alaska for over 10 years. I come to you by way of Massachusetts and Alabama. I’m a proud Puerto Rican woman who is part of the first generation born in the States. In Massachusetts, it was awesome and easy to be a bilingual kid. At the age of 9, my family moved to Alabama for my father’s job. It was then when we moved that I experienced such a different world outside my bubble. A crazy but fun experience. It was in Alabama where I started singing at 14 years old. I was definitely a late bloomer who didn’t know she could even sing. Singing in another language for people who have never listened to anything in Spanish really opened the doors for me. I made sure that I would represent myself and make myself proud every day.
I lived in Alabama until I moved to Alaska about 11 years ago. Living in Alaska and being Puerto Rican has been interesting. I really discovered a bit about myself as a person. I missed my family and my culture. It can be challenging in Alaska sometimes because the community is not very big. You are always looking for people who speak Spanish. When I saw Goya products, I would lose my mind, but my mom would send me so much stuff from home that it was like I never missed a beat.
I have a tremendous opportunity to represent myself and my small Puerto Rican dynamite self in the upcoming Women of Rock show. I participated in 2019 when they did the show the first time. It was such a good time. Felt great to represent. Every time I sing, I will throw it in there that I’m Puerto Rican because representation matters. When I see other Latinos doing things in Anchorage, it makes me so happy. When Anchorage Cabaret put up my bio, I found out that both of the backup singers we have for the show are Puerto Rican, and let me tell you, it made me so happy! Kindred spirits. Moving forward, I hope to sing in Spanish for another show. I want to showcase my heart, my culture, and my first language. I want to represent strong Latinas out there. I also want to show my kids to never shy away from this part of who you are. So, hold it close to your heart. Don’t be afraid to be loud and speak in your language no matter who it bothers.I hope to really come through for Latinos in Alaska. We are small, but we are here to make a difference.
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