Yesterday, the entertainment press announced that David Mitchell’s complex novel Cloud Atlas—which I really liked and don’t have the energy to describe right now—has officially been greenlit as a film starring Tom Hanks, to be co-directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and the Wachowskis (The Matrix).
But here’s the thing: The stories did not say that the film would be co-directed by the Wachowski brothers, as they were formerly known. Instead, the Wachowskis were identified as “Andy and Lana Wachowski” or “Andy and Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski.”
In other words, Larry Wachowski has transitioned to Lana Wachowski (pictured above with Keanu Reeves). She has quietly announced herself as being transgender.
That’s a huge deal for the trans community, and I’d say it’s an even bigger deal that no one has made a huge announcement about Lana’s transition. No one has said “transgender director Lana Wachoswksi is helming a movie starring Tom Hanks.”Instead, the focus has been on Lana’s work. Her gender identity has been treated matter-of-factly.
Granted, we may be six weeks away from a sensitive cover story in People magazine about “Lana’s brave journey,” and there may be backlash against the film and the Wachowskis themselves because of Lana’s identity. It’s also possible that people want to write about Lana’s transition, and she just isn’t cooperating.
But whatever the case, it’s wonderful that for now, Lana Wachowski’s gender identity is beside the point. That’s a sign of true equality… when you can just be who you are without also being a spokesperson for everyone who’s like you.
Of course, I’m not saying that high-profile trans people like Chaz Bono are wrong for being vocal advocates for understanding. That’s great. But it’s also great to have someone like Lana Wachowski in the mix, who’s just doing her work and living her life.
I really hope I’m right to interpret Wachowski’s story this way. I really hope that she can be a major filmmaker who just happens to be trans.