Creature of Prey

Inspired by an encounter in rural Texas.

I had stopped at a gas station to fuel up about 60 miles outside of Corpus Christi. Suddenly I hear a barrage of profanity and look over my shoulder to see pure nightmare fuel had pulled up next to me.

A jacked-up red pickup replete with flying dual confederate flags and a chained up Rottweiler was at the adjacent pump, and the occupants were very unhappy to see me.

They clambered out of the truck and were coming after me. I now understand the meaning of “daggers for eyes”.

I got the hell out of there as fast as I could.

I did not want to find out what they would have done to me, had they caught me. Fortunately they did not give chase.

It was a stark reminder that I must be careful when going into places that aren’t as liberal as the Texas cityscapes.

San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi have all been good to me. I’ve never had a problem being trans in the city. I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel similar to the men in the red pickup, but so far none have acted on it.

Regardless, I realized that I am indeed a creature of prey. Like a little prairie rabbit, I must be alert and cautious, ready to flee from predators at any given moment.

Every day when I get up I must put on my mask, the rabbit. The day that I really let down my guard is the day They will get me.

For this installation, I hung a mirror in space, representing the one that I must always confront, and in front of it, a pedestal with a white rabbit mask that I had created by hand.

Visitors are encouraged to pick it up and try it on, much like I do every day.

If the mask were to be dropped and broken, that would be fine by me. The shattered mask would represent those who didn’t get away.

Inside the mask is a small mirror, confronting the wearer with their own reflection. It’s a surprising and uncomfortable confrontation.

Welcome to my world.

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