Haircut as Platonic Service

A half-assed post about the pros and cons of approaching giving a partner a haircut as a platonic example of body service with a bit about approaching from a Dominant and submissive pov. I wrote it more as a personal thought piece and reminder after getting a haircut in March (local Great Clips had a sale), but the sccwriting club found it, reblogged it, and people responded (most favorably).

Titled on tumblr: This post brought to you by a local sale on haircuts.

Consider: Cutting someone’s hair as platonic service.

I have no idea if I’d want to do it all the time, but I’m just curious enough to want to let a Dominant cut my hair once. Right now, I don’t feel comfortable with letting someone else decide what my hair should look like, though.

While I have zero current knowledge of hair cutting, I’m awfully tempted to learn just enough to be able to do something for a sub. Obviously, it’s not something I’d try to force, and I don’t feel like I should be the one deciding on what the haircut should be, but I have this feeling that this could be a really nice intimate activity in the right situation.

Potential Pros:

  • Like playing with someone’s hair, but with a purpose.
  • Hair washing optional, but also really nice.
  • Clear task with immediate results. There’s no multitasking, complicated decision making, do x and maybe see y weeks later progress.
  • A practical task that serves a purpose beyond “I said so” or “I think it’s sexy”. Might help your partner save money.
  • Can be intimate in a close setting outside of a noisy business or salon.

Potential Cons:

  • Knowledge.
    • Some elements aren’t terribly difficult, or a determined toddler with a pair of scissors wouldn’t give out ‘haircuts’, but it’s not quite that easy, especially if you’re doing something you’ve never done to your own hair before to hair that isn’t like yours.
  • Nerves.
    • I can totally understand why some people would want to stick with easier body service like brushing or washing hair. There’s a difference between trimming hair and breaking out the clippers and dye for a wild mohawk.
  • Tools.
    • I mean, it kind of depends on what exactly you’ve learned how to do and what you’re expecting you’ll do. I’m not trying to get anyone to do full cosmetology training and spend a lot of money on everything you might need when you might just be trimming the back of someone’s neck or something.
  • Other service is easier and/or within your partner’s limits. It’s possible I may not run into someone who’d trust me enough to cut their hair, but they might trust me to help style it, for example.

Disclaimer: I don’t have a cultural or historically weighted racial association with someone else touching my hair. I do have some personal hangups with how social gendering of hair has intersected with my family’s thick hair in females, but that’s a little more complicated than this warrants (rain check on that post).

Lent (viii)

LGBT Stations of the Cross shows struggle for equality [Link]

Original date of this post: March 9, 2013

Context: It was during the time of oral arguments for United States v Windsor, which lead to a June 26, 2013 ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) restriction of marriage/spouse to heterosexual marriages was unconstitutional.

“Stations of the Cross: The Struggle for LGBT Equality” is a new set of 14 paintings that link the crucifixion of Jesus with the history of LGBT people.

“In the sacrifices of martyrs of the LGBT movement, we can come to a new understanding of the cross, and of what it means to be part of the body of Christ,” explains Tennessee artist Mary Button in her official artist statement.

Button painted the LGBT Stations series for Believe Out Loud, an online network empowering Christians to work for LGBT equality. They invite churches and faith groups to download and use the images for free.

[Note about sharing the series on the Jesus in Love Blog. The overview can be found at the bottom of the page of this post.] The original paintings will be displayed in Washington DC during Holy Week, which coincides with Supreme Court oral arguments on same-sex marriage.

Button matches each traditional Station of the Cross with a milestone from the past 100 years of LGBT history, including Nazi persecution of homosexuals, the Stonewall Rebellion, the assassination of gay politician Harvey Milk, the AIDS pandemic, ex-gay conversion therapy, the murder of transgender Rita Hester, the ban on same-sex marriage, and LGBT teen suicides.

The Stations of the Cross are a set of artistic images traditionally used for meditation on the Passion of Christ. They tell the story of his crucifixion from his sentencing until his body is laid in the tomb.

After Easter Button plans to paint Station 15 showing the resurrection. “I’m hopeful that the Supreme Court will rule DOMA unconstitutional and I’ll be able to create a Resurrection piece about the ruling!” she told the Jesus in Love Blog.

Update:Station 15: The Resurrection Of Christ” was completed soon after the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling for marriage equality.

Lent (vii)

There was some absolute chatting with my QT dead during the summer of 2016 [and Tantrum Theatre] outside of our scheduled chats, especially after the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida. They wanted me to donate a pint of blood on their behalf in the memory of the victims and in solidarity with other QT people donating afterwards (even if we were located far enough away that our blood wasn’t guaranteed to be used in Florida). The following are from “T 2016” with minimal editing.

Prep – 6.28.16: Prayer to Flaquita

Hail Flaquita, Lady of the Streets, and the halfway home, and the homeless shelter, and the hotel, and the couch of a friend’s apartment. Hail the Lady of Uncertainty, and not knowing if your family will let you stay, or use your pronouns, or deadname you, or ignore you, or force you to live a lie. Hail to my Lady who knows what happens to the liminal ones, the ones who fall between the cracks, and the ones who slide under the radar. May your bony hand be a reassurance among this uncertainty and a comfort no matter where I live. Hail Flaquita.

Prep – 6.29.16: Logistics

In the wake of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, there was a need for blood in that immediate area. I saw it suggested in online places for other QT people – who can give – in other places to do so as a way to help out. There was a better timed drive last week, but the decision to give was spur of the moment and I couldn’t get there with [redacted]’s shuttle service like I had planned (they want 24 hours notice). It’s my first donation after my debt was eaten up by my previous six donations (part of the Burning negotiations), and I’m hoping that things go well. I feel like it’s the least I can try to do when I’m not automatically turned away for being a gay man / ‘MSM’ – something brought up in the aftermath when young queer men wanted to give.

Prep – 6.30.16: A prayer for Flaquita

Hail Lady of Blood, of bruises and welts and injuries for existing, of the birth blood in the immediacy of our new lives, of the courage and desperation in our veins. Hail Lady of the bullied, troubled, abused, victimized, and killed. May our brothers, sisters, and kin find a peace with you that they may not have been able to find in life. May their spent blood be replenished by the donations of their consenting living kin; may their spilled blood be the fuel for vengeance against the bullies, abusers, rapists, killers, the oppressors. Hail Flaquita.

7.3.16: Feedback

I don’t know if it’s because I was relieved that I wasn’t deferred, relieved that despite our meal break being rescheduled [cutting it very close to affecting the donation time I signed up for during the initial meal break] I still had enough time, or the actual removal of blood, but I felt better emotionally after giving.

A part of me knows that it’s kind of not good to look forward to a pint of blood and some extra for testing to be removed from my body. On an energetic level, it’s not good to imbue the donation with ‘taking bad shit from me’ vibes because then that’s unnecessary shit for the donation receiver to deal with. Nidhogg handles this, as a cleansing, and neutralizes everything before the blood is used, though, because it’s “too much of an opportune time to not cleanse”.

I’ve never really been an energy feeler, so I haven’t been as aware of this aspect, but there’s something about the primal quality and the coping aspect. It’s a sterilized, more modern, and safer alternative to bloodletting and just bleeding out. When the brainweasels get too chatty, I can get rid of the pint because I don’t need it and this can actually be beneficial to someone else.

While I didn’t publicize that I was doing this with the Pulse shooting in mind, I could kind of feel that my dead were supporting me. Regardless of my reception / discernment, they were supportive of this being used in memory of the victims and in practical support of the need for blood for the survivors. My queer dead are quieter than my trans dead, but they’re happy that I did this.

Lent (vi)

Scrolling through my “T 2015” doc, I came across an applicable entry to share from 3.1.15 – Homelessness. My goal wasn’t to paint a doom and gloom picture, but I was wondering if I wanted to face the struggle of coming out to my family and having to be their teaching moment at that time, and I honestly looked at the odds and decided that I didn’t want to risk it.

{Reference to an old playlist for my QT dead where I had “The A Team” in different acoustic covers at that time of writing.} Statistically speaking, things don’t look good.

“One in five transgender people in the United States has been discriminated when seeking a home, and more than one in ten have been evicted from their homes, because of their gender identity.

[…] One in five transgender individuals have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Family rejection and discrimination and violence have contributed to a large number of transgender and other LGBQ-identified youth who are homeless in the United States – an estimated 20-40% of the more than 1.6 million homeless youth.” (Source.)

Discrimination at home, often linked to coming out to family, and discrimination and bullying at school are higher among LGBQ and trans homeless youth (62%, school percentages can be found at above source since it’s broken down). I’m not saying it’s a guarantee that a transgender person will be kicked out of their homes because they came out to their family, but the odds aren’t exactly in their favor.

Homeless shelters in the local area may be a better way to try to contribute to literal assistance with transgender youth, though general information doesn’t hurt. Overall, this idea points towards a concern that may be of more relevance to some than marriage equality, and it plays into why I call the line of candle inspiration The Home You [All] Never Had.

Personally, this is also why I have no intention of coming out as transgender to my family until I do not need to rely on them for shelter / food / monetary assistance. I don’t know how they will react, and I do not want to find out that they fall into the category of families that kick their children out when I still need assistance.

Lent (v)

A break from poking at scabs and healing wounds during this Lenten blogging for my QT dead. It’s alternatively a bit uncomfortably vulnerable, and based on prior accidents, risks getting the attention of you-know-Who. So, from the depths of my documents for chatting with my QT dead (“T 2015”), an entry from January touched on a flag blanket.

At the time, I was spitballing the different purposes for such a blanket:

It could serve as the representation of the flag for rituals, and things could be planned to be on it (sacred cloth on the ground, perhaps, more so than an altar cloth, but it just depends). In ritual, it could also provide a feeling of safety as a blanket, which could be strengthening or bond-building when it comes to sharing and passing the blanket from one person to the next. I might be able to get one per person even, so that everyone can bring their own to a ritual and use it at home (partially as community building).

Have I ever actually taken part in a group ritual? Do I have access to a group of people who would even want a flag blanket after a ritual took place? Do I have access to non-pagans who would want a flag blanket? No, on all fronts. However, that’s just how some of the speculative entries rolled (coming up with solo and potential group ideas).

At the time, I was specifically focused on an idea around the trans flag as a blanket, but honestly, this could be as general (a rainbow flag for the whole LGBTQIA+ community) or specific as someone wanted to get. Change up the size for a small personal shrine, make a table runner, join together a bunch of different flags, loads of possibilities.

Mystery Yarn

Surprise! Your grandmother has been cleaning out the dusty corners of her house and the spiders have gifted her with yarn that has been labeled and yarn that has not.

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1 skein, 3.5 oz, of Lion Brand Sayelle (Discontinued). Color: Pastel Yellow. Weight: Worsted / 4 ply.

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1 skein, 4 oz, of unknown brand. Color: Pastel chartreuse (discolored portions are dust, I think). Weight: Worsted (probably).

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A bag of miscellaneous:

  • A ball (amount and weight unknown) of white yarn with sparkly interwoven bits.
  • Darice (Nylon Plus *), 2 ply, 20 yds apiece of – Black, Blue, Yellow, Green, Red, and Gold (label removed and in a ball).

* 100% nylon needlecraft yarn. “The quality standard for plastic, woven, and knitted canvas.” It feels stiffer (coarser?) than what I’m used to. Is this for those ‘oversized needle and sew the design we’ve provided’ projects (sort of like embroidery on steroids)? ((I have no idea what to do with this bag.))

Irish Hiking Scarf

While I initially wrote that I was going to just add on sequences for that prayer shawl (Bargain Matinee Prayer Shawl), I decided to give double stranding a try just to see the visual difference. It’s . . . a lot more attention that I have to give to the act of knitting and purling than I’m used to, so I finished the scarf I started after those fingerless gloves instead.

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Pattern by Adrian Bizilia

As opposed to the mitts I finished not that long ago, I didn’t make unintentional or intentional changes to the pattern, so I’m not making a point of sharing it. Reminder: It’s a free pattern to download at the link above.

The only thing that I didn’t really think about was that the type of color variation in this yarn was different than what I’ve used previously. I’ve used a Red Heart yarn that switched from color 1 to 2 to 3, back to 1, and repeated in that way. This almost looks like I knit with a bunch of individual colors that I joined together as I went. (My family still thinks it looks alright, and this is a gift for a relative, so I’m not overly concerned with it. Just something to keep in mind when I ask someone to pick out a color changing yarn for Xmas to work with.)

Lent (iv)

On the one hand, a part of me is quite alright with not thinking about why some Christians make their claims about homosexuality. On the other hand, my QT dead are doing the ancestral equivalent of a side eye because my WIP Judas Kiss clearly shows that some demons are still being exorcised about this. However, ironically, it was when a queer Jewish blogger I follow on tumblr reblogged something that I was hit upside the head with a clue-by-four. (And some Lenten blogging for my Christian QT dead means I am sharing what probably isn’t revolutionary with you guys.)

Even as someone who doesn’t go looking for Christian spaces, I still hear about some anti-gay shit, but it’s always Old Testament verses. This isn’t to say that anyone going off on those tangents is actually right, and it was more through Jewish bloggers that I realized there’s been a lot chewed over when it comes to cultural changes, translations, and all that, which typically clarifies that those verses are not about modern same-sex relationships as we think of them. The clue-by-four: The really sensational anti verses are from books that Christians classify as Old Testament and the whole bloody point of the Jesus-Cross-Shindig was that Christians took the Old Testament out of their spiritual contract with God.

Now, this doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to provide more of the context for those Old Testament verses, but I honestly don’t remember some of the Christian Protestants doing a very good job of that. Like, what are they even doing looking at Leviticus in the first place? It’s one thing for the Jewish people to talk about the Torah because it relates to their religion, community, and – you know – them. Yeah, I know, I’m 15 minutes late, and I didn’t even bring Starbucks.

Just. The amount of emotional pain all over theologically unsound shit. *frustrated sighing*

Irish Hiking Mitts (Right)

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Pic of left and right fingerless gloves and the leftover yarn (unweighed = Idk how much much).

Part II: I didn’t lose quite as much time getting the process of knitting in-the-round down, but I still wasn’t exactly thrilled with the right one.

Pattern by iknit2purl2

C4B: Slip 2 sts onto cable needle (CN) and place at back of work. K2 then K2 from CN.

Notation: I realize it saves space in the pattern to just make a note to repeat rows, but I mentally can’t save that in my immediate attention when also concentrating on the row pattern, repeating the correct row three more times, juggling needles, and not completing this in one sitting. My handwritten copy of the pattern therefore has a few notes about that (reflected below).

Alteration: It kinda looks like I’m trying to wear something I’ve outgrown if I stop at row 44, so I went to 47 (BO instead of 48), which matches what I did in the left one. In this one specifically, I wanted to avoid picking up stitches for the thumb (indicated below).

Briar’s Right Pattern

CO 42 sts and divide among 3 needles.

Row 1: {K1, P1, K4, P1}; repeat 5 times.

Rows 2 – 4: Repeat Row 1.

Row 5: {K1, P1, C4B, P1}; repeat 2 times. {K1, P1, knit to next to the last stitch, P1}.

Row 6: {K1, P1, K4, P1}; repeat 2 times. {K1, P1, knit to the next to the last stitch, P1}.

Rows 7 – 9: Repeat Row 6.

Row 10: Repeat Row 5.

Repeat Rows 6 – 10 three more times (cable row bolded):

11, 12, 13, 14, (15)

16, 17, 18, 19, (20)

21, 22, 23, 24, (25)

Right Hand Thumb Increases

Row 26: Work Row 6 pattern for 23 sts, place Marker, M1, K1, M1, place Marker, knit to end of row.

Row 27: Work Row 6 for 23 sts, slip Marker, K3, slip Marker, knit to end of row.

Row 28: Work Row 6 for 23 sts, slip Marker, M1, K3, M1, slip Marker, knit to end of row.

Repeat increases until there are 13 sts inside the Markers:

29: Work established pattern, K5 inside Markers.

30: Cable row. M1, K5, M1

31: Work est, K7 inside Markers.

32: M1, K7, M1

33: Work est, K9 inside Markers.

34: M1, K9, M1

35: Cable row. Work est until Marker 1, M1, slip Marker, K11, slip Marker 2, M1, knit to end of row. (There are now 43 sts outside Markers.)

36: M1, K11, M1. (Knit extra sts according to pattern.)

Row 37: {K1, P1, K4, P1}; repeat 2 times. K1, P1, K extra st, remove Marker 1, slip 13 sts onto stitch holder. Temporarily transfer extra st onto old needle, replace Marker 1, transfer extra st onto new needle, remove Marker 2, K extra st, place Marker 2, knit to the end of row. (There should be 41 sts on DPNs and 2 sts in between Markers.)

Rows 38: {K1, P1, K4, P1}; repeat 2 times. K1, P1, slip Marker 1, K2, slip Marker 2, knit to end of row.

Row 39: {K1, P1, K4, P1}; repeat 2 times. K1, P1, remove Marker 1, slip 2 sts onto extra DPN, remover Marker 2, knit to end of row. (There should be 41 sts on DPNs.)

Row 40: {K1, P1, C4B, P1}; repeat 2 times. K1, P1, knit to end of row.

Work as established:

41, 42, 43

Row 44: {K1, P1, K4, P1}; repeat 4 times. {K1, P1, K4} to adjust for 41 sts.

Row 45: {K1, P1, C4B, P1}; repeat 2 times. {K1, P1, K4, P1}; repeat 2 times. {K1, P1, K4}.

Rows 46 – 47: Repeat Row 44.

BO

Thumb

Remove 13 sts from stitch holder and place evenly over 3 needles. Add 2 extra sts from DPN to the beginning and the end of the new row. K15. Knit 2 more rows, BO. I’m not sure if something got turned around, and I knit against the grain, in a manner of speaking, but the thumb didn’t turn out quite right.

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Back (left) and front (right) sides of right fingerless glove. The transfer back to the extra purling can be seen at the top of the palm (feels more noticeable than it looks), and somehow the thumb got a bit…unique.

Lent (iii)

While I found it interesting to read some of the pages on Queer Saints when doing research for part of a play (working title Judas Kiss), I don’t really have a personal investment in reconciling centuries of shifting historical attitudes with being a queer Christian. I took my dog out of that fight years ago because it didn’t seem like I could reconcile traditional church messages with being queer (and other reasons), and I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about that elsewhere when explaining how I wound up in pagan and polytheist circles. I know in one of my chats with my QT dead that I was prompted to dig into some of my Christianity inflicted wounds surrounding this, but unfortunately, it’s not exactly an unheard of experience, so I’m not currently going to go find it to share here.

Some parts of my family were/have been involved with the United Methodist Church, and as of drafting this out (6 March), it’s not that far from a big announcement that made national news about the UMC voting to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage and ordaining queer individuals [link]. The decision passed in a 53 percent to 47 percent vote, and there are questions about some sort of split being possible because it’s not a clear cut ‘everybody agrees’ matter. When I look at some of these Queer Christian perspectives, I think of people who are not yet my ancestors, my living Queer siblings, who don’t want their answer to religious conflict to be walking away.

I can’t deny that I personally had to go through an anti-Christian phase as a teen, in order to work out some of the baggage and scabbing wounds, but I’ve been trying to do better. I had a dear friend in high school who was an ally and quite Catholic, and I know the Catholic girl I had a crush on had a different kind of struggle because she didn’t want to stop being Catholic. (Sometimes looking back at who you’ve known and crushed on certainly answers why you have occasional bouts of blasphemy kink.) I don’t have the space to list off all of the Christians I’ve encountered or know who actually are queer themselves or queer accepting, but needless to say, they do exist. Trying to not poke fun at Christians isn’t going to absolve my QT dead of their respective wounds, but sometimes, letting those instances slide is a moment of acknowledging their complexity.