'Cloud Atlas' director comes out as transgender with pink dreads

AFP News10 September 2012
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Lana Wachowski (seen with actor Tom Hanks in Toronto) divorced in 2009

Director Lana Wachowski and actor Tom Hanks speak onstage at the "Cloud Atlas" Press Conference during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9. "Cloud Atlas" co-director Lana Wachowski this week publicly embraced her gender switch from Larry for the first time -- with bright pink dreads

"Cloud Atlas" co-director Lana Wachowski this week publicly embraced her gender switch from Larry for the first time -- with bright pink dreads.

Her sex change was long rumored, but never confirmed as Wachowski had previously avoided interviews and publicity tours by insisting on no-press clauses in her film contracts.

Suddenly last month a promotional video showing her in pink dreads went viral and in a New Yorker magazine interview she described how in school Larry didn't know whether to stand in lines with boys or girls, and opted for the middle ground, "exactly where I belonged, betwixt."

The New Yorker article revealed that Larry separated from his wife while shooting the last two installments of "The Matrix" trilogy after suffering from anxiety and depression over a long period.

In 2009, Larry divorced, began living as transgendered Lana, and eventually married another woman.

"I chose to change my exteriority to bring it closer into alignment with my interiority," with the support of her family, she told The New Yorker.

"I know many people are dying to know if I have a surgically constructed vagina or not, but I prefer to keep this information between my wife and me."

At a press conference Sunday at the Toronto International Film Festival for the world premiere of "Cloud Atlas," a globe-spanning, time-tripping, gender-hopping epic film based on David Mitchell's landmark novel, she explained why she is now breaking her silence.

"I did feel some responsibility to the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) people, and some people had been asking me to be more public," she said.

"But me and (younger brother and co-director) Andy, we love our privacy, our anonymity. Being a celebrity doesn't do much to improve yourself. We think it can actually worsen your life. So it was a big decision and it took a long time."

"We like the way our anonymity allows us to inhabit the world. You can go into a comic book shop or a movie store and you can just listen to people. We're writers, we like people to act normal around us.

"I knew that one day I would be more public and we had to negotiate when that would be. And this movie, which is about transcending our fear of 'other' in so many ways, and transcending the boundaries of 'other' -- it seemed quite natural to do it now."

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