Lana Wachowski, co-director of The Matrix and formerly known as Larry Wachowski, gave an emotional and without a doubt one of the most inspiring speeches of 2012 at the Human Rights Campaign Annual Gala where she received its coveted visibility award.
Beginning her speech, the acclaimed director explained she had not spoken to an audience since the eighth grade, but judging by the at times candid, humorous and heart-felt account of her journey as transgender woman, you wouldn’t have guessed it, or doubted her ability to express herself in the slightest.
Until now, Wachowski has valued anonymity, choosing to live a life away from the public eye, not even making a appearance to promote her films in over a decade.
“People have mistakenly assumed that this has something to do with my gender,” she explains in her speech, “it does not.”
What followed was a beautiful insight into who Lana Wachowski is, as she shared her long journey towards standing in front of the enthralled audience accepting her Human Rights Campaign Visibility award.
Watch her speech in full below.
What I personally found remarkable about her story was Wachowski’s own approach to coming out. In a time when coming out stories have become a highly valuable commodity, with a somewhat established rolling out process in the public eye, she is coming at it from an entirely different angle, from the perspective of someone who for years had carefully guarded all aspects of her life to the point of doing almost no publicity for her films with her own brother.
“I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it seemed that my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others,” she says of her childhood.
“If I can be that person for someone else, then the sacrifice of my private civic life may have value.” If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is.