If you have a few spare minutes I highly recommend spending them watching this very moving speech by Lana Wachowski (formerly Larry Wachowski), co-director with brother Andy Wachowski of The Matrix movies and most recently Cloud Atlas.
The Wachowski’s haven’t done press or made public appearances in 12 years, but in August Lana decided to break her silence and acknowledge her gender evolution (she does not like the word “transition” she says “because of its complicity in a binary gender narrative.”) This week she accepted the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award and spoke about her experience of growing up transgender, including a teenage suicide attempt, in the hope that it could help others:
I am here because [my teacher] Mr. Henderson taught me that there are some things we do for ourselves, but there are some things we do for others. I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others. If I can be that person for someone else [pause, applause] then the sacrifice of my private civic life may have value.
Bravo Lana, for your deep humanity and your civic courage. And, can we say, you look stunning. Rock those pink dreads.