I am a transgender ceramic artist. While being trans is not a choice, being visible and therefore vulnerable is. I do not neatly fit into a box.
Gender presentation and the LGBTQ community are under attack in what is already a strikingly different nation. In my work, I am addressing the inequalities, prejudices, and fears of otherness that people do not understand. The bathroom laws, sports bans, and lack of health care targeting transgender people are promoting those fears and injustices. These laws promote discrimination against gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, and intersex people. It catapults transgender individuals into the spotlight and forces their private lives into a public dialogue.
These preconceptions of trans and gender non-conforming persons are why I have put myself on display despite my discomfort. It has become my own mission to both educate and inform through my work.
I use humor in my work to make it approachable and relatable to a less informed audience. I incorporate my story and portrait into the ongoing narratives surrounding transgender individuals. It is an effort to place myself and others like me onto a broader platform where identity can be discussed and amplifies the voices of those of us whose lives are affected by stigma and stereotyping. It is my opportunity to control my own narrative and tell my story using clay as media.
Mac McCusker received an MFA in Ceramics from Georgia State University. He is a former resident artist and current instructor at Odyssey Clayworks in NC. Mac is a member of Artaxis and The Socially Engaged Craft Collective. His work focuses on social and political narratives. He is a full-time artist and Studio Manager at Union Project in Pittsburgh, PA.