Lana Wachowski

In a year when the term “war on women” has emerged as a central political talking point, “binders full of women” a popular internet meme, and body, gender, and sexual politics seem more regressive and horrifying than ever, I have to tip a very large hat to Lana Wachowski (born Larry). Last Saturday, Wachowski, the younger half of the sibling duo behind the Matrix trilogy and the upcoming Cloud Atlas, gave a moving, honest speech about coming out as a transgender woman at the Human Rights Campaign awards ceremony after receiving the Invisibility Award.

A Chicago native, the obviously shy, (but admittedly long-winded) Wachowski discussed the negotiations between public and private identity, the problem of creating a binary gender divide, and the misplaced assumption that transgender life is always colored by tragedy. Although she expressed reluctance to take on such a public platform, Wachowski is an important addition to the dialog around trans identity in America. So cheers to that, Lana!

Watch Wachowski’s full speech here.

Cloud Atlas opens in theatres on 10/26.


Photograph: Jay Maidment/Warner Bros.