What ever happens with Cloud Atlas (which opens this Friday) what Lana Wachowski has done in coming out as a transgendered person will go down as a seminal moment in Hollywood culture. She is a high profile successful action director talking about being transgendered and gay, in a town where there are hardly any women directors who do action and hardly any people who talk about being transgendered. Fucking gutsy.
You can see that she is shy. She and her brother Andy have not done any press in 12 years. People have assumed that they didn't do press because Lana was becoming Lana after being Larry, but that's not the reason as you will see after you watch this incredibly moving video.
Lana told her story of not fitting in when she was a kid and not knowing how to articulate it. When she transferred to Catholic school from public school for the first time had to stand on the boys line and wear different clothes from the girls. She could not bring herself to stand on the boys line, but she also knew she couldn't stand on the girls line. She couldn't tell her mom who was ready to beat the living daylights out of the nun who was tormenting her son (go mom) because she had no words to describe what she was feeling.
She has clearly found her words through her filmmaking and now as a role model and leader on this issue. It is a label that she reluctantly accepts.
Invisibility is indivisible from visibility. For the transgendered this is not merely a philosophical conundrum, it can be the difference between life and death.
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 then the sacrifice of my private civic life may have value.
What a gutsy speech. Watch it. It's worth the 30 minutes.