Lehuaakea

Pacific Northwest

Photo Credit: Phylesha Brown-Acton, MNZM, Director of Photography: Merry Christ Ikinepule- Papani.

About

I am māhū / non-binary of Kanaka Maoli and Japanese descent now living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

Growing up in a very conservative Christian environment, spectrums of gender identity and sexuality were not discussed with an open mindset. I did not start exploring and coming to terms with it until I was a young adult, realizing that how I was raised did not align with how I identify.

Now that I am an artist and kapa maker and have stepped into my identity as māhūwahine, I have never felt more seen and supported. My circle has grown as I have reclaimed parts of my culture, like kapa, hula, and language, and I now understand more of my role and responsibilities.

I intend to contribute to our physical and spiritual well-being by teaching and sharing these gifts with my community, no matter how far we are from home.