Activist, artist, and barber Miyuki Baker ’12 is a queer presence on campus worth taking note of.
Just this past year, she founded a website – drawing contributors from around the country and readers from around the world – to support the Asian LGBT community. Feeling enraged after finding mainly just porn when googling “Gay and Asian” Baker said she felt called to create a positive space for the Asian LGBT community on the Internet. Asian Gay & Proud collects coming out stories from queer Asian people (or “folks” as Baker calls them), links users to resources, and provides a directory of Asian LGBT support groups around the country.
Besides her online activism endeavors, Baker also gets up, close, and intimate with other students as the self-titled Queer Barber on campus – and cutting hair is intimate because, as Baker will tell you, “what other time would a complete stranger be this close to you?!”
Baker runs her barbershop out of her art studio space on the third floor of Beardsley. Amid textiles, sculptures, paintings, and a collection of salvaged items waiting to be artfully attached to other salvaged items, Baker clips and cuts while shooting the proverbial queer shit with her clients.
I took up the hot seat with Baker for a trim and to discuss her barbershop, her art, and her activism.
So how long have you been cutting hair?
I started charging people at the beginning of last semester, but I’ve been cutting my own hair since high school and then cutting friends’ hair since freshman year.
What kind of haircuts do you normally do?
Any kind really. I’ve done really long haircuts that just need trim ups, and I’ve done a lot of design work with clippers, which is always really fun because then it’s like getting to use my artistic eye.
by Punjapit Alliance