I am extremely humbled and excited to bring this news to you today. Growing alongside M. Hisae has been the greatest gift I have ever received. It's been at my side, tethered to my soul, every day for almost a decade. And surely before that, as it was finding its way into the world. I am completely aware that each day I spend exploring and nurturing this gift is a privilege. And that it's so rhythmically in tune with my home that is safe, my body and mind that are healthy, and my friends and family that care for me.
 
I will always keep compassion at the core of M. Hisae. Sa Ta Na Ma: peace begins with me. The #1 way to succeed in business is to be nice to people. And the Earth, and the animals. Take a breath, walk away. Peace begins with me.
 
Peace also begins with my business, and if the health of my business depends on making money, then M. Hisae's money carries this same energy. I'm thrilled to announce that I will be making monthly charitable donations equal to 2% of total online sales. That's gross sales, not net sales, so the maximum amount possible will be donated. I chose online sales because we must use the internet for good, and that transactions and hugs outside of the internet, between you and I in real life, are inherently powerful on their own.

Miss Major

If you don't already know her, meet Miss Major. (instagram, web) She's a veteran of the historic “Stonewall Rebellion” and a survivor of Attica State Prison, a former sex worker, an elder, and a community leader and human rights activist. Her personal story and activism for Transgender civil rights intersects LGBT struggles for justice and equality from the 1960’s to today. At the center of her activism is her fierce advocacy for her girls, Trans women of color, who simply call her "Mama." I am moved when thinking about the lives saved, changed, and honored by the courage and dedication of this incredible woman. I was first introduced to her and her story by my brother, Toshio Meronek, who has been working at her side for years, to support and spread her messages to the world.

Miss Major and her team founded the Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat & Historical Center in Little Rock, Arkansas – the first educational and historical center solely dedicated to Transgender and gender nonconforming people in the USA. Miss Major’s legacy project is "House of GG" – a permanent home in Arkansas where Transgender people can come, feel safe, and be part of a growing network of Southern Trans people who are working for social justice. Within the retreat center setting, she and her team will provide safety, inclusion and nurturing within the TLGBQ community and beyond. Learn more at houseofgg.org.

1% of M. Hisae's gross online sales will be donated directly to Miss Major to fund the development and growth of House of GG. Thank you to my friends and customers for giving me a platform to do so. Thank you to Miss Major for your service and for letting us into your visionary life.

Portrait by Mary Rozzi for The September Issues

Girls Opportunity Alliance

1% of monthly online sales is gifted to the Girls Opportunity Alliance, birthed by the remarkable Michelle Obama, and a program of the Obama Foundation.

Today, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. The Girls Opportunity Alliance seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, allowing them to achieve their full potential and transform their families, communities, and countries. The foundation engages people around the world to take action and directly support programs proposed by grassroots leaders working to educate these girls.

I’ve chosen to direct my donations toward the Sacred Valley Project, which is building a dormitory and education center that will provide access to education for deserving girls from approximately 30 new communities surrounding Marcapata, Peru. This new education center will house 20 girls and provide additional tutoring space to accept 10-15 after school students. The dormitory addresses the need for better access to secondary school for Quechua girls from rural Andean communities by removing the barrier of a long and unsafe journey. It is intended to be more than just a living space. It is a place of community and growth.

Gardner and I visited the Sacred Valley for the first time last year. I was mesmerized by Peruvians’ warmth, tradition, and reverence for the land. Peru is a dance into a deeper wisdom than I’ve ever known. It is too sacred for words.