MIOI HANAOKA is an engineer for a tech company. Outside of her work, Mioi is a proud volunteer for LGBT causes and volunteers for annual events at her church. When she first attended the annual Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP) Film Festival two summers ago, she found community with queer women of color artists, which motivated her to dedicate her extra time and energy to advance justice within society. Mioi and her father Rev. Nobuaki Hanaoka were also featured in the Network on Religion and Justice’s (NRJ) “In God’s House,” a documentary about Asian American Lesbian & Gay Families in the Church.

Since her initial involvement in April 2013, Mioi has contributed much of her time and skills to API Equality – Northern California. Recognizing her privilege growing up with supportive Christian parents, she identifies with our vision:

“A lot of Asian families still don’t know what it means to be LGBT and Asian. APIENC educates families and communities around issues that they are not aware of. It’s important to bring visibility to this work and spread the message because more people need to be informed in order to change their traditional ways of thinking.”

Mioi remembers marching on May Day with us in the LGBT contingent. For her, it was important to be present and show solidarity on behalf of LGBT APIs. Marching alongside a group of older Asian immigrant women reminded her that people were marching because they were directly impacted by the issue – “the least we can do is show up and educate others around us.”

Mioi volunteers for APIENC projects (Dragon Fruit, Breakthrough Conversations) and supports our website.

Fun fact? Mioi use to sing and play guitar in a punk band called the Papercuts!