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'The Matrix' director Lilly Wachowski comes out as transgender woman

Second Wachowski sibling to transition from male to female

Lilly Wachowski/The Windy City Times
Lilly Wachowski, The Matrix filmmaker formerly known as Andy Wachowski, has announced her transition from male to female, becoming the second Wachowski sibling to come out as transgender.

Wachowski, 48, rose to fame directing all three films of The Matrix trilogy from 1999 to 2003, produced alongside sibling and collaborator Lana (formerly Larry) Wachowski.

Lilly Wachowski confirmed the news in a statement to Chicago's Windy City Times, revealing that her decision to speak publicly came after The Daily Mail "threatened public outing against my will". The Daily Mail has denied these claims.

"I knew at some point I would have to come out publicly," Wachowski wrote. "You know, when you’re living as an out transgender person it’s kind of difficult to hide. I just wanted – needed – some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable. But apparently I don’t get to decide this."

"So yeah, I’m transgender. And yeah, I’ve transitioned," she continued.

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Wachowski also spoke of the problems that trans people still face in society: "Being transgender is not easy. We live in a majority-enforced gender binary world. This means when you’re transgender you have to face the hard reality of living the rest of your life in a world that is openly hostile to you."

"I am one of the lucky ones. Having the support of my family and the means to afford doctors and therapists has given me the chance to actually survive this process. Transgender people without support, means and privilege do not have this luxury. And many do not survive. In 2015, the transgender murder rate hit an all-time high in this country. A horrifying disproportionate number of the victims were trans women of color. These are only the recorded homicides so, since trans people do not all fit in the tidy gender binary statistics of murder rates, it means the actual numbers are higher."

LGBT organisation GLAAD have praised Wachowski’s decision: "Journalists must learn that it is unacceptable to out a transgender person, in the same way it is unacceptable to out a person who is gay, lesbian, or bisexual,“ Nick Adams, GLAAD's Director of Programs for Transgender Media, said in a statement.

Lilly's sibling Lana, 50, came out as a transgender woman in 2012. Lilly alluded to this in the title of her statement, which reads: "Sex change shocker – Wachowski brothers now sisters!!!"

Speaking as she announced her own transition, Lana told The New Yorker in 2012: "My biggest fears were all about losing my family. Once they accepted me, everything else was a piece of cake".

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