Matrix co-creator Wachowski forced out as trans by UK tabloid

The filmaker's latest work is Netflix series Sense8. © windycitytimes
Filmmaker Lilly Wachowski came out as transgender after she was allegedly threatened with exposure by the Daily Mail, a move that’s been condemned by human rights groups.

The filmmaker created The Matrix trilogy and several other films along with her sister Lana, who came out as a trans woman in 2012.

Wachowski announced her transition in an essay in the Windy City Times, saying that she “needed some time to get my head right”, but “apparently I don’t get the time to decide this.”

For the past year, Wachowski wrote, she dreaded reading the headline, "SEX CHANGE SHOCKER—WACHOWSKI BROTHERS NOW SISTERS!!!"

The 48-year-old from Chicago said that she was approached by a man who spoke in an English accent asking her to do an “inspirational” piece about her story for the “definitely not a tabloid” Daily Mail.

After the reporter left, Wachowski said she remembered the Daily Mail as the media outlet that outed the elementary school teacher Lucy Meadows, a transgender woman who committed suicide in 2013.

“An editorial in the ‘not-a-tabloid’ demonized her as a damaging influence on the children's delicate innocence and summarized, ‘He's not only trapped in the wrong body, he's in the wrong job’,” Wachowski wrote.

A spokesperson for the Daily Mail told the Independent that they did not intend to run the story without Wachowski’s permission, saying “Our reporter was extremely sympathetic and courteous at all times. We are baffled as to why Ms. Wachowski has reacted as she has but we wish her well with her journey.”

Wachowski said she was “one of the lucky ones” having the financial means to afford doctors and therapists to survive the process as well as the support of her family. She praised evolving attitudes, but criticized how transgender people are portrayed in the media.

“And though we have come a long way since ‘Silence of the Lambs', we continue to be demonized and vilified in the media where attack ads portray us as potential predators to keep us from even using the goddamn bathroom,” she wrote.

Wachowski praised Alicia Blasingame, her wife since 1991, as well as her “fabulous sister” Lana. After shunning the topic with the media for several years, Lana Wachowski spoke of her transition when she received the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award at the 2012.

The Wachowskis first came to prominence in 1996 with ‘Bound,’ a neo-noir film featuring lesbian heroines.

Their first major commercial success was ‘The Matrix’ in 1999, which became one of the highest grossing films of all time and spurred two sequels. 

The filmmakers’ latest work, the Netflix series ‘Sense8’, is one of the first TV shows to have a trans character among its main cast, played by trans actress Jamie Clayton.