Lilly Wachowski was living between a rock and a hard place, when she made the decision to live her life as a transgender woman. If the Wachowski name sounds familiar, that’s because, together with her brother (who now lives as Lana), she was a part of the Wachowski Brothers team, responsible for writing and directing The Matrix and penning the script for V for Vendetta. It was her notoriety as a screenwriter that made living life as a transgender so difficult for Lilly. Ms. Wachowski found that her career and Hollywood, in general, can make coming out impossible to avoid.
Lilly Wachowski Blames Silence Of The Lambs For Negative Stereotypes
The Hollywood Reporter states that in an essay penned by Lilly Wachowski, the screenwriter singles out Silence of the Lambs for its portrayal of serial killer James “Buffalo Bill” Gumb and the way his transvestism is portrayed. Wachowski says the film “demonized” the transgender community through that character, particularly because it was mentioned that he applied for a sex change operation and was rejected.
“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,” Wachowski wrote. “We are not predators, we are prey.”
Whether she is correct in her view or not is beside the point. Lilly believed this to be true, which was why she chose to remain in the closet about her transgender identity as much as possible. One can then understand why Ms. Wachowski is so bothered by the way in which she says one news source chose to “out” her.
Was Lilly Wachowski Bullied Into Coming Out As A Transgender Woman?
According to the Los Angeles Times, Lilly says she was preparing to come out publicly as a transgender, but she was outed by a reporter for the Daily Mail. Wachowski says she knew she would have to come out, as living as a transgender individual isn’t something that can be hidden for long, but she just wanted the time to prepare.
The Daily Mail has issued a statement of its own, contesting Ms. Wachowski’s version of events.
“As Ms Wachowski herself says, we were not the first media organization to approach her and we made absolutely clear at several points in the conversation that we were only interested in reporting the story if and when she was happy for us to do so and with her cooperation,” the statement read.
The Wachowskis have always explored gender and sexual orientation in their films. In Bound, the main protagonists were strong female characters and lesbian lovers played by Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon. V for Vendetta explored a dystopian society that, in part, persecuted and terrorized the gay and lesbian community. These are just a few of the ways Lilly and Lana Wachowski have tried to influence the views of women and the LGBT community in film.
“Yes, women are getting some roles, but they’re basically playing men,” says Lilly, suggesting that Hollywood continues to force women into male roles instead of writing specifically for women.
On the topic of Lilly Wachowski’s forced coming out, GLAAD has issued a statement in support of the Matrix screenwriter. In the release, GLAAD says Wachowski should not have been forcibly outed and that she should have been able to publicly come out in her own time and in her own way.
Since Lilly’s status as a transgender woman has been made public, she has received tremendous public support. Many of Wachowski’s Twitter followers continue to send her messages of love and support.
[Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images]