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Meet Denisse aka Sugarxndspice of Sugarxndspice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denisse aka Sugarxndspice.

Denisse, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My name is Denisse and I’ve never told a lie. Well, not really..that’s impossible– but what I mean is that for 23 years of my life, I have tried to live as authentically as possible. I mean what I say, I say what I mean and I do what I say I’m going to.

As of today, I’ve battled homelessness three times, eating disorders twice, two longstanding abusive relationships, and countless racial/gendered microaggressions. I’m not telling you this to feel sorry for me, I’m telling you this because I want this relationship to start with a clean slate. If I trust my readers enough to bare my soul, then you can trust me too. You can believe that in the most formative years of my life, I lacked a role model and a safe space to desahogarme (vent). And because I couldn’t find one, I created one. This is it.

SugarxndSpice. Like my personality, my blog is divisive at times, controversial and a little problematic.That’s the spice in me. I don’t care what offends you, I’m saying it because you need to hear it. I disrupt to bring about a new way of order. But my intention is never to harm, it’s to educate and build a community of support, healing and above all, empowerment. I’ve got a crazy knack for nurturing and that’s the sugary part of me.

I’ve come to learn that by not telling my story, I am doing a disservice to others who like me, are having a rough time trying to figure out what comes next. This is my digital nook created for all marginalized and underrepresented groups to come to have fun, start a discussion and hold each other accountable. You have rights here.

In “real life”, I’m a Public Relations Specialist and Social Media Strategist. Do you know what that means? I’m an expert at putting the right “spin” on a story.

Knowing the backend of what goes into writing and publishing media content, I now see that the erasure of Latinx and Hispanic narratives is deliberate. Our narratives are never shared unless it is in service of the status quo and we’re seen as contributors to the quality of white people life.

SugarxndSpice lends some insight to the authenticity with which I try to live. Be it fashion, activism, queerness, lifestyle or just my usual rants and raves. You get to experience a Mexicana narrative as it develops and I welcome you to share yours with me. My hope is that by allowing myself to share my vulnerability (and publicly self-help), you will find empowerment to take control of your own story.

Now that I have a foot in the door within the media, I want to bring these narratives to the mainstream: of vibrant fiestas with the neighbors and the fierce loyalty to families and the vicious roastings we all endure at the hands of our Tios and Tias that teaches us to be tough as nails.

The narratives of kids like me that grew up too fast because they had to defend mami when people tried to take advantage of her for not speaking English. For the kids, that like me, lived in fear of their undocumented parents being taken away in the night and being left all alone.

I write because I won’t depend on others to tell my story. If the media refuses to acknowledge me and create content that speaks to what I know then I will. I will write, photograph, create original content that is mindful of the ancestry I proudly carry.

Because I can. I went to a good school to learn how. I’d be a terrible person if I had the tools to do this and then choose not to. It’s a disservice and I refuse to be one of those people that makes it out of the Barrio just to look down on it.

I want to make our stories and our history accessible. If one rises, we all rise. Now more than ever. SugarxndSpice was created to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable. Immigrants; We’ve got a lot to say. And too often, our stories are erased. Not this time.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Wow– Where should I start? My lighter traumas or shall I just jump right into the deep end? HA!

It’s been tough. Lots of blood, sweat and tears have been poured into becoming the woman I want to be. As for the blog itself, that’s been tough too. I had no idea how fast it would grow into something bigger than myself. I wasn’t really equipped to handle all the attention and demands that came my way.

Suddenly, I had sponsors to answer to. I was hired to freelance write for other sites. I was invited to radio shows and activists that I admire followed me back and wished me luck. It was just a lot for someone who just wanted a creative outlet.

Running Sugarxndspice isn’t cheap but it’s necessary so I put my money where my mouth is. Creating content is a full-time job in itself and I underestimated how much dedication it would take. Thankfully, I’ve met incredible like-minded people along the way that continue motivating me when I feel I’m not enough. Fast enough, smart enough, pretty enough…

It can be tough to not feel inadequate in comparison to other academics and activists but I try to not compare myself to anybody else. The only person I can be is me and there’s power in owning that.

Sugarxndspice – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I write. I think, I feel, I am and then I write it.

It’s tough, to sum up what Sugarxnspice is because it’s a persona I created when I didn’t want to be around anymore. She’s tough, she’s smart, she’s funny… she’ll punch you.

These qualities all live inside of me but Sugarxndspice is just my normal personality on steroids. It all started as a digital little journal but I think my forward-thinking ideas were what others needed too. It was a right place at the right time kind of thing.

I don’t censor myself. Not on my blog, not at work, not in person. I think that commitment to authenticity is what sets me apart. I’m not going to photoshop the stretch marks off my ass or make myself look skinnier.

I’m a content creator that keeps it REAL. I’ll tell you exactly when, where and how to fuck off. I’ll also tell you that your laugh is contagious, that it’s the prettiest I’ve ever heard and it makes me feel like a superhero when you laugh because of me. Life is fragile and it’s short. Tell people how you feel. Show them. That’s how I try to live.

If I were to die today, I am 100% confident that everyone mourning me could agree that I lived my life exactly the way I wanted to at the moment. I did not care for the future. I accepted the past and did not let it define me. I’m very proud of that. I’m a lot of things but a fraud ain’t one.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Ok, this is going to sound dumb but paying my mom’s bills. That was the moment where I was like, “Ok. I made it out of the hood”.

I guess graduating college was cool too but honestly, I’m positive I could have done this without it. Too much emphasis is placed on degrees. It isn’t about your degree, it’s about the experience under your belt to back it up. A degree just helps you get past the bureaucracy.

But really, it was finally being able to help out my parents financially. I will bloom wherever I am planted but I want my parents to be well off. They deserve to breathe and have some fun while they still can. It’s like, ok. You did the hard part. You raised me and now that I’m grown, you can sit back and relax. That’s what I’m most proud of and grateful for.

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