Beautiful

One thing that strikes me about the pictures of Lana Wachowski lately is how deeply happy she looks. To me, this is evidence that, even if it freaks you out or confuses you or scares you or seems immoral to you, if no one’s getting hurt, you have to step back and let people try for joy. (I know the “getting hurt” thing isn’t perfect because almost all of the time, even if people do get hurt, it’s not your job to stop them from striving for joy, but let’s not get bogged down. Let’s just acknowledge that there are moments when you might want to stop someone from trying something that may make them happier, but those moments should be exceedingly rare.) Your discomfort is just not more important than their happiness.

So, I read this great article about the Wachowskis and the making of their new movie and I just sobbed when I read this part:

At the same time, Larry, who had separated from his wife, was dealing with depression and struggling with his gender situation. During the production, he told Andy that the reason he went swimming in the bay every morning, rather than in the pool, was that he was half hoping to be hit by a boat or attacked by a shark. “For years, I couldn’t even say the words ‘transgendered’ or ‘transsexual,’ ” Lana told me. “When I began to admit it to myself, I knew I would eventually have to tell my parents and my brother and my sisters. This fact would inject such terror into me that I would not sleep for days. I developed a plan that I worked out with my therapist. It was going to take three years. Maybe five. A couple of weeks into the plan, my mom called.”

Sensing that something was wrong, Lynne Wachowski flew to Australia the following day. The morning after her arrival, Larry told her, “I’m transgender. I’m a girl.” Lynne didn’t know what he meant. “I was there when you were born,” she said. “There’s a part of me that is a girl,” Larry insisted. “I’m still working at that.” Lynne had been distraught on the plane, worried that she might lose her son. “Instead, I’ve just found out there is more of you,” she said. Ron, who soon flew in, too, offered his unconditional support, as did Larry’s sisters and Andy, who had suspected for a while.

A couple of days later, the Wachowski family went out to dinner in Sydney. Larry was now renamed Lana and was dressed as a woman. A waiter referred to Lana and Lynne as “ladies.” The next day, Lana showed up at work in her new identity, as though nothing had happened.

There’s their poor mom, talking to Lana on the phone and clearly, she must have been down enough that something in her voice scared the shit out of her mom, for her to fly to Australia on a day’s notice. You just have to know how terrified Lana must have been that she was going to lose her family. And yet, right when life calls on the family to be open to it in big and scary ways, they totally manage!
I just really think that’s beautiful. It fills me with great, great hope.
(Also, please, if we’re going to discuss this in the comments, let’s just call her Lana and not try to do “Larry” for when she was presenting as male and “Lana” for now, since Lana is her name.)
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One thought on “Beautiful

  1. I love this story. I’ve been down all morning because last night when I was up I read a YA novel about a girl whose family kicks her out of the house when she comes out.

    When my brother came out, four of the five of us loved (and continue to love) him and supported him unconditionally–regardless of the various opinions held by various ones of us. He’s our family.

    I cannot understand what motivates anyone to not love a family member unconditionally. Don’t they understand that love is the only thing that begets joy? I just don’t get it.

    I love hearing especially about families who are accepting of their transgendered members. When Rainn died, his mother was still not willing to accept his transition and buried him as a woman under his female birth name. It feels disrespectful to visit his grave.

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