Lilly Wachowski is now the second Wachowski sibling to come out as transgender, penning a funny, heartfelt open letter that critiques tabloids, anti-trans legislation, and the gender binary.
In her open letter to the Windy City Times, Wachowski described being pursued by tabloids like London's Daily Mail. Wachowski started the letter with a sensational headline to poke fun at gossipy rags: "SEX CHANGE SHOCKER -- WACHOWSKI BROTHERS NOW SISTERS!!!"
Wachowski then told the story of Lucy Meadows, a trans teacher who ended her life after the Daily Mail published a salacious, anti-trans story about her. Wachowski decided she wanted to control her narrative by telling the world herself about her gender identity.
The celebrated director, writer, and producer demonstrated a deep knowledge of trans issues, including high rates of murder and poverty, especially for trans women of color.
"I am one of the lucky ones. Having the support of my family and the means to afford doctors and therapists has given me the chance to actually survive this process. Transgender people without support, means and privilege do not have this luxury. And many do not survive. In 2015, the transgender murder rate hit an all-time high in this country. A horrifying disproportionate number of the victims were trans women of color. These are only the recorded homicides so, since trans people do not all fit in the tidy gender binary statistics of murder rates, it means the actual numbers are higher.
"And though we have come a long way since Silence of the Lambs, we continue to be demonized and vilified in the media where attack ads portray us as potential predators to keep us from even using the goddamn bathroom. The so-called bathroom bills that are popping up all over this country do not keep children safe, they force trans people into using bathrooms where they can be beaten and or murdered. We are not predators, we are prey."
Wachowski also expressed skepticism at the binary description of gender, saying womanhood isn't really a destination. Read the open letter here.
Wachowski joins her sister in coming out as trans -- Lana came out in 2012. The women directed the beloved lesbian film Bound as well as the Matrix trilogy, and, along with Tom Tykwer, the adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. The sisters also created, wrote, and directed Sense8, the acclaimed Netflix series that stars trans actress Jamie Clayton.