Mira attended a Catholic school growing up because her family could afford to send her to the better schools. Her school was right on the edge of the “Red-Light District”, so it was not unusual for men to mistake the children going to school for prostitutes. Her mom continued to manage the bars and hotels, and there were a few times that she accidentally walked in on a show at the bar. Although her mother did not want her there, this was normalized for Mira. Her family befriended some of the women who worked as prostitutes for the men on the military bases, which led to Mira’s feminist views. The neighborhood Mira grew up in was very communal, and she sights being raised by the neighbors who looked over all of the kids in the neighborhood while their parents were working.
One issue Mira dealt with while she was in school was other children bullying her, saying that her mother was a prostitute. Although her mom worked at the hotel near the base, and was friends with many of the prostitutes, she was not one herself. This lead to the development of stereotype around Mira’s family that was not true. Mira’s mother began seeing one of the men who was a recruiter for the U.S. navy. Her mother and step-father moved to Whales bringing Mira with them. Following a small stay in Whales, Mira and her family moved to Iowa when she was thirteen years old in 1982. Mira attended Roosevelt High School in Des Moines. Mira mentioned that the 1986 Roosevelt High was not a very diverse place, and she represented a lot of the Asian minority in her class. Mira graduated high school and attended Drake University for one semester, but did not like the coursework. She dropped out, sold her car, and moved to San Francisco, California with a few of her friends. Mira became involved with the punk rock scene in California, and confessed to being “straight-edge” meaning she did not use drugs like many of the people she was with.