The video below has been making the rounds on Facebook since it was released last week. It features Lana Wachowski (born as Laurence ["Larry"] Wachowski), one half of the Wachowski directing team that created the Matrix Trilogy and most recently, Cloud Atlas. She first went public with her transition in July of this year, following an operation to correct the biology of her birth.
According to Huffington Post, her process of becoming herself has been a topic of rumors for almost a decade.
Lana's personal life has been a source of headline fodder for years now.It's unfortunate that she had to go through this in the public eye - among the transgender clients I have worked with, simply doing this privately and dealing with friends and family is difficult enough.
In 2002, Wachowski was going through a bitter divorce from wife Thea Bloom, as People magazine reported at the time. In 2003, a date Wachowski took to the Cannes Film Festival told the British tabloids that the director was a "cross-dresser."
That same year the Gothamist reported on a column written by movie journalist Dave Poland, alleging that Wachowski was in the process of undergoing a "sex change".
"Every indication I have says that Larry Wachowski is now in the process of changing his sex," Poland wrote. "Dressing in public like a woman, taking female hormones and yes, having a sex change operation."
Ms. Wochowski gave this 25-minute talk, a very rare appearance on this side of the camera, during an Oct. 20 fundraising dinner for the the Human Rights Campaign in San Francisco. She talks about growing up as a woman living inside a male body, the wrong body, and the abuse and shaming she experienced as she tried to reconcile her gender identity with the biology with which she was born. At one point, she had her suicide planned out.
Fortunately, she never chose that option.
But many transgendered youth do choose suicide. In fact, more than 50% of Transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday. This is a horrible statistic, and one that we can change through awareness of what these young people are going through and support for their identities, including the right to have corrective surgery if that is desired.
Blessings to Lana Wachowski for bravely stepping forward to speak her truth.
You can read about the event here - and there is a good interview with Wachowski here.
Finally, kudos to the Hollywood Reporter for handing this story with compassion and integrity.