The Hollywood film-maker Lana Wachowski has described how she publicly came out as transgender while shooting the Matrix sequels with her brother Andy. “My biggest fears were all about losing my family,” Lana (formerly Larry) told the New Yorker magazine. “Once they accepted me, everything else was a piece of cake.”
Having previously shunned interview requests, Wachowski opened up about her history of gender confusion as the siblings prepared to premiere their latest film – an adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas – at the Toronto film festival. She recalled that, while at school, she was often unsure whether to join the boys’ line or the girls’ and wound up standing between the two. “Some part of me figured I was exactly where I belonged,” Wachowski, 47, told the interviewer, Bosnian-American novelist Aleksandar Hemon. “Betwixt.”
The Wachowskis made their feature debut with the 1996 thriller Bound before scoring a global success with the 1999 science-fiction blockbuster The Matrix. But it was during production on the Matrix sequels, on set in Australia during 2002, that Lana began to struggle. “For years I couldn’t even say the words ‘transgender’ or ‘transexual’,” she said. “When I began to admit it to myself, I knew I would eventually have to tell my parents and my brother and my sisters. This fact would inject such terror into me that I would not sleep for days.”
Wachowski says that he finally told his mother, “I’m transgender. I’m a girl” and has lived as Lana ever since. For his part, brother Andy has said that Lana is “easier to work with” than Larry was.