Throwback: Raffy, Bronx, NY

I was about 9 or 10 years old, and apart of the Side Street Kids (SSK) Dance Academy, a non-profit founded in the Bronx that taught kids how to dance Salsa On2 (aka New York Style), while creating a family-oriented atmosphere that was invested in seeing each kid doing well in school and at home. It was through SSK that I had the privilege of traveling across the US performing, and one year went to Los Angeles to perform at World Salsa Congress.

It was an unforgettable time with my closest friends and family, especially our day out in Universal Studios. There was a gift shop with wigs and I immediately ran in and tried some of them on. I remember liking a particular blue wig with a Bob, but this Orange one complimented my new LA tan, so clearly I lived and had to take photos.

It’s funny to me, because I swear the adults who were around me knew I umm, swam upstream lol. There was always something different but special about little Pee-Wee (my childhood nickname). A lot of the adults still have photos like this of me, I’m glad to know they kept them and still support me as much as they did when I was a little salsero.

raffy, they/them

bronx, new york


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