Watch Lana Wachowski’s Poignant Speech About Coming Out as Transgender

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 24 2012 2:15 PM

Lana Wachowski’s Moving Speech About Being Transgender

Director Lana Wachowski speaks at a panel discussion following the Cloud Atlas U.S. premiere

Photograph by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for The New Yorker.

At the beginning of her acceptance speech for the Human Rights Campaign’s Visibility Award in San Francisco last Saturday, director Lana Wachowski professes that she has never given a speech—or at least, not since the eighth grade. Given the candid, humorous, and heartrending account of coming out as transgender that follows, you wouldn’t know it.

Wachowski, who helmed The Matrix and this fall’s Cloud Atlas as part of a directing duo once called “The Wachowski Brothers,” has always carefully guarded her privacy. Until recently, she had not made a public appearance for her films in years. “People have mistakenly assumed that this has something to do with my gender, “Wachowski says in the speech, “it does not.”


The speech provides a rare glimpse of Wachowski’s sharp wit and her experience rebuffing binary gender classification. You can watch the whole thing below. (There is also a transcript.)



Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?