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Lana Wachowski Tells Of Her Struggles Growing up Transgender At Human Rights Campaign Gala

By Chuck Sudo in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 24, 2012 7:00PM

2012_10_24_lana_wachowski.jpg Cloud Atlas, the latest film by the Wachowskis, opens across the country Friday and the publicity for the movie has been competing for page space and bandwidth with the interest in Lana Wachowski's coming out as transgendered. By and large most accounts have been extremely supportive of Wachowski and how happy and well-adjusted she appeared, even if noted author Aleksandar Hemon and The New Yorker had a some trouble navigating the pronoun-strewn minefield of transgendered subjects.

(It's simple: It's "Lana Wachowski;" use "her" and "she.")

Last week, Wachowski received the Human Rights Council's Visibility Award at a gala in San Francisco and, in a 25-minute speech that was moving, funny, honest and cathartic, Wachowski talked about the depths of despair and depression she felt identifying as a woman in a man's body. In third grade, she and brother Andy transferred to a Catholic school, where a nun began to beat her because she joined a line of girls and wanted to play foursquare with them and not the boys. "I'm not trying to disobey; I'm just trying to fit in," Wachowski said.

She considered suicide on a subway platform, but decided against it when a man walked on the platform and stared her down.

Wachowski, like scores before her who successfully made the transition, credited the support of her family and friends. She told of how her brother was willing to put their professional partnership on hold to help her adjust. She recounted a time when a waitress at a restaurant told her mother, "your daughter looks like you," which caused her mother to beam with pride.

Finally, Wachowski said her brother said, "if anyone says anything bad about you, I'll break a bottle over their head."

Here's video of the speech, via the Hollywood Reporter.