Photo: The Hollywood Reporter
In July, “Matrix” franchise co-director Larry Wachowski changed his name to Lana and re-emerged in Hollywood—as a woman.Lana, 47, is one half of the sibling director duo with brother, Andy, and on Friday, their latest film “Cloud Atlas” hits theatres—forcing the director duo to make public appearances.
“Andy and I have not done press or made a public appearance including premieres in over 12 years. People have mistakenly assumed that this has something to do with my gender. It does not,” Lana explained over the weekend while accepting an award in San Francisco from the Human Rights Campaign.
“After The Matrix was released in ’99 we both experienced this alarming contraction of our world and thus our lives,” added Wachowski. “We became acutely aware of the preciousness of anonymity.”
Wachowski was awarded the Visibility Award by the Human Rights Campaign, after her recent decision to end a long-standing policy of ignoring press and public appearances and to instead openly acknowledge her transition to womanhood.
While accepting her award, Wachowski gave a moving 25-minute speech about her painful past growing up transgender, being bullied by a nun at her Catholic school and why she nearly committed suicide.
I began to believe voices in my head — I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be loveable. After school I go to the nearby Burger King and write a suicide note. But it was addressed to my parents and I really wanted to convince them that it wasn’t their fault, it was just that I didn’t belong…
When I see the headlight I take off my backpack and I put it on the bench. It has the note in front of it. I try not to think of anything but jumping as the train comes. Just as the platform begins to rumble suddenly I notice someone walking down the ramp. It is a skinny older old man wearing overly large, 1970s square-style glasses that remind of the ones my grandma wears. He stares at me the way animals stare at each other. I don’t know why he wouldn’t look away. All I know is that because he didn’t, I am still here…
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.
Watch the both humorous and painful speech below (via THR):
To read a transcript of the speech posted by The Hollywood Reporter, click here.
“Lana’s willingness to tell her story will impact and change countless lives across the world,” HRC president Chad Griffin, who introduced Wachowski, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “She is a giant in her industry, and for someone with such success and such profile to be willing to tell their personal story to the world sends a tremendous message to LGBT people across the globe that they too can aspire to be a giant in their industry.”
But note to reporters, don’t upset Andy Wachowski on the topic of his co-director/sister during interviews for “Cloud Atlas” because, he, says, “if somebody asks something or says something about my sister that I don’t like, understand that I will break a bottle over their head.”
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