Lilly Wachowski, co-director of the Matrix trilogy, ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘Jupiter Ascending‘ (previously credited as Andy), came out as transgender yesterday with an incredible, eloquent, angry letter to the media.
This meaning that the sibling director duo have now both come out as transgender. Lana Wachowski started her transition in the mid-2000s (the date was never confirmed to media, because people don’t have to ¯_(?)_/¯).
But Lilly says that she felt forced to announce her transition. She says she was approached by tabloid media outlets on multiple occasions, asking for her statement on a transition that she hadn’t even decided she was ready to publicly go through yet.
“SEX CHANGE SHOCKER—WACHOWSKI BROTHERS NOW SISTERS!!!”
There’s the headline I’ve been waiting for this past year. Up until now with dread and/or eye rolling exasperation. The “news” has almost come out a couple of times.
Each was preceded by an ominous email from my agent—reporters have been asking for statements regarding the “Andy Wachowski gender transition” story they were about to publish. In response to this threatened public outing against my will, I had a prepared a statement that was one part piss, one part vinegar and 12 parts gasoline.”
She spoke a particular instance when a reporter from the UK’s Daily Mail rang her doorbell and asked her about it for a story – and she remembered that the paper had negatively written about another transgender woman, which devastatingly resulted in her suicide:
“After he had given me his card, and I closed the door it began to dawn on me where I had heard of the Daily Mail. It was the “news” organization that had played a huge part in the national public outing of Lucy Meadows, an elementary school teacher and trans woman in the UK. An editorial in the “not-a-tabloid” demonized her as a damaging influence on the children’s delicate innocence and summarized “he’s not only trapped in the wrong body, he’s in the wrong job.” The reason I knew about her wasn’t because she was transgender, it was because three months after the Daily Mail article came out, Lucy committed suicide.
And now here they were, at my front door, almost as if to say—
“There’s another one! Let’s drag ’em out in the open so we can all have a look!””
She continues to say that deciding when to speak about her transition was no longer her choice:
“I knew at some point I would have to come out publicly. You know, when you’re living as an out transgender person it’s … kind of difficult to hide. I just wanted—needed some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable.
But apparently I don’t get to decide this.”
GLAAD‘s director of programs for transgender media Nick Adams made a statement on the open letter, with backed her anger at the media:
“GLAAD is thrilled that Lilly Wachowski is able to be her true and authentic self today, however, she should not have been forced to disclose her transgender identity before she was ready to do so.
Journalists must learn that it is unacceptable to out a transgender person, in the same way it is unacceptable to out a person who is gay, lesbian, or bisexual.”
She speaks of her privilege in that she can afford doctors and HRT, while many trans people cannot. She speaks of the difficulties and higher rates of abuse and homicide that trans people of colour experience. She calls for the end to a world that sees gender as binary.
Lilly explains that people close to her already knew, and while she struggles with the rigidness of the current gender and queerness theories, she hopes she can, by her “very being, be an example of the potentiality of another world”.
Wachowski’s letter in its entirety is beautiful, angry, inclusive, harrowing, heartwarming and illuminating. Like, simultaneously.
The transgender community have celebrated and supported Lilly’s announcement – this Instagram post made our hearts hurt because they were so full of love:
You can read her full letter via Windy City Media Group, which is where Lilly chose to publish her letter, along with a cheery self portrait: windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Second-Wachowski-filmmaker-sibling-comes-out-as-trans-/54509.html