An Open Letter to Lana Wachowski

Dear Ms. Wachowski,

I just saw your speech from October 2012 at the Human Rights Campaign dinner. I wish this were required viewing for everyone (or reading; I have included the link to the transcript of your remarks below).  And that is not hyperbole, because I really believe we all need to hear your wise, touching, funny words–which could easily be true for so many who struggle with feeling alone, unloved, unseen.

For those who do not know your story, I will explain briefly that you lived as Larry for much of your life, and made The Matrix and V for Vendetta movies with your brother Andy. Now Lana, you recently completed work on Cloud Atlas.

As a celebrity gossip addict (I’m sorry), I was familiar with the initial whispers of your “transition” as you physically became the woman you were meant to be. I first encountered you–Lana–in the September 9 edition of the New Yorker. The article about how you approached the making of the movie Cloud Atlas was so compelling that when my husband mentioned that he needed a book to read, I recommended Cloud Atlas even though I had not read it myself.

Even on paper, your incredible thoughtfulness, or maybe mindfulness is more appropriate, comes through. It is clear you are a writer–oh, your words! “Invisibility is indivisible from visibility; for the transgender this is not simply a philosophical conundrum — it can be the difference between life and death.”  I, talkative like you, am speechless at the beauty and implied tragedy in this phrase alone.  And there were so many others.

Your speech is so eloquent, your language so true, that I want to share it with everyone I know! I want them to hate that nun, love your parents, ADORE your brother! I want them to look in the eyes of a stranger, perhaps wearing square glasses from the 70s like your grandma’s, and have that stranger look back. I want them to be kind, to be selfless, to appreciate their civic responsibility. Like you have done.

“Every one of us, every person here, every human life presents a negotiation between public and private identity,” you said in your speech.  I am grateful that you sacrificed your private identity; I wish you knew how deeply you have moved me. If you write your memoirs, I will buy them.  If you start a foundation, I will contribute.  And if there is a Lana Wachowski fan club, I will gladly serve as president.


Cheryl Byrne

4 Replies to “An Open Letter to Lana Wachowski”

  1. I started my day watching Lana’s speech. I must admit I didn’t know anything about her prior to reading your post. Her words have stayed with me all day. Thank you for sharing.

    1. I am so glad you appreciated it, too! Makes me want to watch Cloud Atlas, despite the awful reviews, just so she benefits!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *