Lana Wachowski of The Matrix and V for Vendetta filmmaking team came out as transgender many years ago, but has largely been private about her transition. She made one of her first public appearances earlier this summer to help promote the Wachowskis’ exciting new film, Cloud Atlas, due out this fall. Now, she and her brother Andy have opened up about their past for The New Yorker, including details about Lana’s transition.
In the profile, Lana describes feeling like she belonged with the girls in Catholic school, and often experienced bullying because of her lack of gender conformity. But, she found “tremendous solace in books, vastly preferring imagined worlds to this world.” In the early 2000′s, Lana experienced great depression and decided with her therapist it was time to transition, and she came out to her parents. Her mother, Lynne Wachowski, was worried that she was going to lose her son to depression, but instead discovered, “there is more of you.” Lana describes getting over the hurdle of embracing the change:
WACHOWSKI: I chose to change my exteriority to bring it closer into alignment with my interiority. My biggest fears were all about losing my family. Once they accepted me, everything else has been a piece of cake. I know that many people are dying to know if I have a surgically constructed vagina or not, but I prefer to keep this information between my wife and me.
Lana Wachowski’s story will surely inspire many young people, and it also emphasizes the importance of family acceptance. Studies have shown that trans youth who are not supported by their families and who do not have the opportunity to receive affirming therapy face a higher risk for mental health problems. She does not owe anybody the details of her identity, but by talking openly about how she was able to right her life and find happiness, she makes it easier for others to envision the same outcome.