Lana Wachowski, co-writer/director of my all time favourite flick, The Matrix, recently gave one of the coolest acceptance speeches ever.
It wasn’t for another film award – she and her bro Andy have scored a stack of gongs for The Matrix trilogy, V For Vendetta and even the hot lesbian classic Bound – this time Lana picked up the Visibility Award from America’s LGBT Human Rights Campaign.
As Lana put it in her speech, she got the award for being herself – a 47-year-old, out transgender woman who happens to be one of the most critically acclaimed and bankable forces in Hollywood.
When The Matrix came out in 1999 I was only 19. I was blown away by the “bullet time” action sequences and the smart, philosophical storyline.
Back then I didn’t realise I was queer and I didn’t know Lana was either. That’s because at the time, Lana was known as “Larry” – one half of the creative powerhouse that was the Wachowski “Brothers”.
Even though Lana had questioned her gender since childhood, her first public appearance as a woman wasn’t until July this year in a video discussing the creative process behind Cloud Atlas, the Wachowski’s latest film.
Lana, who along with Andy keeps a low profile, hadn’t commented publicly on her transition prior to then, even though rumours began circulating in the early 2000s.
In her speech, Lana talked about the struggle growing up transgender and what it’s like to now be out in Hollywood where douchebags continue to call her by her former name and pronoun. Thankfully she has the support of a rad wife, family and friends.
It’s funny you know, when I was 19 and infatuated with The Matrix I didn’t pick up on its queer themes. At the time I was bored out of my brains dating my male karate instructor and couldn’t figure out why I was unhappy.
But when you think about it, not only was Trinity a sexy, ass-kicking dyke pin up, but lines in the film like “To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human” or “It seems that you’ve been living two lives. One of these lives has a future and one of them does not” were probably speaking to the suppressed baby dyke within me, just as they reflected Lana Wachowski discovering her true self. No wonder I was so obsessed.
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