Lilly Wachowski, 48, sibling of Lana, 50, came out in a statement to Windy City Times, after being threatened with outing by other media. The film director, part of the sibling team that created The Matrix, Speed Racer, and Bound, has announced that she has also undergoing the transition process — which she was keeping to herself, but The Daily Mail threatened to out her.
From her statement:
“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.
It had a lot of politically relevant insights regarding the dangers of outing trans people, and the statistical horrors of transgender suicide and murder rates. Not to mention a slightly sarcastic wrap-up that “revealed” my father had injected praying mantis blood into his paternal ball-sac before conceiving each of his children to produce a brood of super women, hellbent on female domination. Okay, mega sarcastic.
But it didn’t happen. The editors of these publications didn’t print a story that was only salacious in substance and could possibly have a potentially fatal effect. And being the optimist that I am, I was happy to chalk it up to progress.
She goes on to recall a man from Daily Mail showing up at her house in the night to announce the breaking of her story in their paper — in a very tactless way. She talks about the demonization of trans people in pop culture and how far those stories have come since Silence of the Lambs; but also how far behind the times they are. It’s such a disaster — and an unimaginably difficult thing — to come out, and simultaneously engage with decades of horrible treatment.
Lilly ends on this:
So yeah, I’m transgender.
And yeah, I’ve transitioned.
I’m out to my friends and family. Most people at work know too. Everyone is cool with it. Yes, thanks to my fabulous sister they’ve done it before, but also because they’re fantastic people. Without the love and support of my wife and friends and family I would not be where I am today.
But these words, “transgender” and “transitioned” are hard for me because they both have lost their complexity in their assimilation into the mainstream. There is a lack of nuance of time and space. To be transgender is something largely understood as existing within the dogmatic terminus of male or female. And to “transition” imparts a sense of immediacy, a before and after from one terminus to another. But the reality, my reality is that I’ve been transitioning and will continue to transition all of my life, through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one. We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary. Binary is a false idol.
It’s a very inspiring message and fantastically composed under such a time crunch and unreasonably bad circumstances. Read the full statement and be thankful we live in a time where such courageous people can fight such shit journalism.