Transgender Director Lana Wachowski’s Moving Human Rights Campaign Acceptance Speech

Lana Wachowski and her brother Andy are the directors responsible for “The Matrix” trilogy, the film “V for Vendetta” and most recently, “Cloud Atlas.” Lana used to be Larry, but over the past 10 years, has transitioned from Larry to Lana, though she still has a problem with the notion that transgender people are tied to gender binaries; it fails to acknowledge, she says, “the spectrum of gender in the exact same blind way they refuse to see the spectrum of race or sexuality.”

In this powerful speech, Lana details her struggles with identity, including a Burger King-addled suicide attempt. “After school I go to the nearby Burger King and write a suicide note. It ends up being over four pages. I’m a little talkative. But it was addressed to my parents and I really wanted to convince them that it wasn’t their fault, it was just that I didn’t belong. I cry a lot as I write this note, but the staff at Burger King has seen it all before, and they seem immune.”

Thankfully, Lana’s attempt was thwarted, and she is thrilled to have the support of her family, her wife and her friends. Which is why she’s hoping to pass along words of hope and encouragement. “I am here because … there are some things we do for ourselves and some things we do for others.” By telling her story, Lana is bringing power and visibility to how transgender people not only survive, but thrive.