Wachowski, 48, penned an essay in the Windy City Times, Chicago’s LGBTQ newspaper, revealing that she was transgender.
Her prosaic, poignant and oftentimes humorous essay (cheekily entitled with the faux headline: “SEX CHANGE SHOCKER—WACHOWSKI BROTHERS NOW SISTERS!!!”) touches upon her decision to come out (which albeit was not necessarily on her own time), as well as the many issues and violence people within the transgender community face on a daily basis.
For the last year, she explains, certain media outlets have been attempting to break the news of her transition from Andy to Lilly, which brought upon “dread and/or eye rolling exasperation. Then, a reporter from the Daily Mail appeared at her doorstep the day before. She writes:
My sister Lana and I have largely avoided the press. I find talking about my art frustratingly tedious and talking about myself a wholly mortifying experience. I knew at some point I would have to come out publicly. You know, when you’re living as an out transgender person it’s … kind of difficult to hide. I just wanted—needed some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable.
But apparently I don’t get to decide this.
The sci-fi director goes on to explain and touches upon the painful realities of being transgender:
Being transgender is not easy. We live in a majority-enforced gender binary world. This means when you’re transgender you have to face the hard reality of living the rest of your life in a world that is openly hostile to you.
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.
“So yeah, I’m transgender,” Wachowski concludes. ” And yeah, I’ve transitioned. I’m out to my friends and family. Most people at work know too. Everyone is cool with it. Yes, thanks to my fabulous sister they’ve done it before, but also because they’re fantastic people. Without the love and support of my wife and friends and family I would not be where I am today.”
Lilly’s announcement comes four years after her older sister Lana (formerly known as Larry) revealed she transitioned during a press junket for their film Cloud Atlas in 2012.