The co-director of the sci-fi blockbuster franchise The Matrix has come out as a transgender woman, joining her sibling, who also transitioned eight years ago.
Lilly Wachowski, formerly known as Andy, penned an open letter to the Windy City News about her transition after fears of being outed by British tabloid The Daily Mail. In her letter, Wachowski acknowledged that her transition had "almost" been revealed before, and that her agent had warned her that reporters had been inquiring about her gender. It wasn't until a Daily Mail writer confronted her, on her doorstep, that Wachowski realized she had to report the news herself.
"You know, when you're living as an out transgender person it's ... kind of difficult to hide," Wachowski wrote in her letter. "I just wanted — needed some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable. But apparently I don't get to decide this."
She added that living as a trans woman isn't easy, but expressed gratitude for the family, friends and colleagues in her life who accepted her without question.
Just a few years ago, Lilly's sister Lana — who used to go by the name Laurence —came out as a transgender woman, and spoke about her experiences growing up before coming out. Lana completed her transition in 2008, after the release of Speed Racer. While working on the project, multiple reports had come out suggesting that Lana was undergoing a transitional process, but producer Joel Silver denied it. In 2012, Lana came out as a trans woman, during a behind-the-scenes video for her project at the time, Cloud Atlas.
Together, Lilly and Lana Wachowski directed The Matrix trilogy under their former names, as well as many other movies. The pair also wrote the script for the 2006 film adaptation of Alan Moore's acclaimed graphic novel, V for Vendetta.
Wachowski's news was welcomed and supported by GLAAD, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian and transgender persons, but in the same statement GLAAD ripped the publication that forced her hand. Nick Adams, GLAAD's director of programs for transgender media, condemned The Daily Mail's reporting as harassment, and warned that "outing" a transgender person is as unacceptable as outing a gay or lesbian individual.
Lilly Wachowski's full letter can be read here.