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Look who’s back: Lana Wachowski and the greatest speech of the year

The last time we heard of director Larry Wachowski was about a decade ago, when a Rolling Stone magazine exposé revealed his extremely intense relationship with professional dominatrix Ilsa Strix. So intense, in fact, that many people suggested it was the very reason of the abysmal quality of the two Matrix sequels. Following that, Larry and Ilsa were occasionally spotted on the red carpet for a premiere or another: the keenest observers noticed his pendant earrings and manicured hands, but that was it, media-wise.

Fast-forward to a few days ago, when the reclusive half of “the Wachowski brothers” made a grand stage appearance in the unlikeliest of places: the award ceremony of the Human Rights Campaign gala in San Francisco… as the recipient of the Visibility Award. In fact, the director is now happily married and officially transitioned to her new public life as Lana Wachowski. The only reason she didn’t explicitly come out before was to avoid upstaging her film work with a private aspect of her life, and the universal clamor about the soon to be released Cloud atlas looked like a good time to soften the blow somehow.

But there was another reason – which is in fact the same reason for which I am reporting this. In her wonderful acceptance speech, Lana Wachowski perfectly explained not only the difficulties in accepting her own sexuality in a closed-minded world (complete with violent, child-abusing nuns), but also the struggle between protecting one’s own privacy and coming out for the good of other people. Her touching references to her own experience were actually not very important, for these concepts do apply to anyone living an “unusual” sexuality.
Another key theme was overcoming the fear of not being accepted for who you are by the people you love. As I have often witnessed myself, this is mostly irrational: only those who don’t really love you back will stand in judgment, and you really can do without that sort of people – especially if you are a multimillionaire movie director. If you are not, however, listening to what Lana said can be even more enriching.

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