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The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive video in which director Lana Wachowski—one of the three co-directors (along with her brother Andy and Tom Tykwer) of the much-anticipated Cloud Atlas (out October 27)—discussed her painful childhood and decision about transitioning from male to female while accepting the Visibility Award at the HRC's annual gala dinner in San Francisco.
As Lana explains in the moving 25-minute speech, she was once beaten by a Catholic school nun after she failed to join a line of boys and nearly committed suicide as a young adult.
"I began to believe voices in my head -- that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable," Wachowski explained to the crowd of approximately 600.
She says that it was the fact that she was stared down by a man who wandered onto an empty subway platform where she was standing that stopped her. “I don’t know why he wouldn’t look away,” Wachowski told the crowd. “All I know is that because he didn’t, I am still here.” (It's a chilling scenario that some may recognize as a situation that has resonances with Neo waiting on an empty subway platform in The Matrix.)
Of course, Lana is half of the directing duo behind the uber-successful The Matrix trilogy, which makes her the most visible (and most likely, richest) transgender person in the world. Until recently both Wachowskis were press shy and didn't engage in much public discussion of any aspect of their lives (this video was the first time we had ever seen Lana Wachowski speak).
As Lana explained to THR: "They’ve been contacting me off and on for a while and I’ve always said no, I don’t do that sort of thing. But her schedule worked out “and my wife thought it was a good idea to do it now."
Read the full transcript of the speech here.