The Participants

Devan SHimoyama

Devan Shimoyama is a painter, photographer, and assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. In Manscaping, Devan produces a series of paintings exploring his own simultaneous pull towards, and sense of exclusion from, the American Black barbershop as a queer, Black male. Granted access to his Pittsburgh studio, viewers witness this rising art star produce and exhibit his series of barbershop paintings, which use collage, the aesthetics of drag, and the spirit of Afrofuturism to challenge the constraints of Black masculinity. Along the way, Devan shares his experiences, shared by many queer black individuals, of being turned away from predominately white barbershops who don’t cut ‘textured’ hair, and of effectively having to “go back into the closet” as he navigates Black barbershops.  Visit Devan’s Website

Jessie Anderson

Jessie Anderson is a barber and transgender man in Vancouver, Canada who founded Big Bro’s Barbershop, a safe community space and barbershop for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals and their allies. Jessie opens the doors of his home and his shop to viewers, sharing aspects of his own transition and modeling how he and his co-workers at Big Bro’s are already manifesting Devan’s hopes for more inclusive barbershop spaces. We’ll see trans, nonbinary, and ally customers receive haircuts while recounting a spectrum of negative experiences in the traditional barbershop, including what Jessie’s colleague Zed calls the “no-penis tax” (the exact same haircut costing exponentially more for individuals read as female).  At Big Bro’s, we’ll see pricing is not only gender-neutral but on a sliding scale, with customers willing to pay more to subsidize the cuts of those struggling financially. Visit the Big Bro’s Website

Richard Savvy the Naked Barber

Richard Savvy, of Sydney, Australia reveals his talents as a fetish barber and queer porn activist who has turned barbering and shaving into spaces of erotic play and gender exploration through his professional identity as The Naked Barber. Beyond the initial titillation of Richard’s nudity, audiences will quickly appreciate his cutting prowess (he was an educator, traditional salon owner, and stylist on the runways of Europe before becoming the Naked Barber) and also come to understand the healing and transformative powers of his space. A gay man receiving his first straight-razor shave unexpectantly winds up in tears at the end of the experience, overwhelmed by the rare platonic intimacy and homosocial bonding afforded by the encounter. A transgender man receiving full body grooming from the reclining comfort of Richard’s sling shares how this space is a judgement-free site of self-care and self-creation, which offers him hope we can all move beyond what he terms “the toxicity of fragile masculinity.” Visit The Naked Barber Website