Second Wachowski filmmaker sibling comes out as trans
March 8, 2016 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Lilly Wachowski, 48, sibling of Lana, 50, came out in a statement to Windy City Times, after being threatened with outing by other media.
posted by brundlefly (102 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ugh, outing people who are trans--we're still doing that? I wish Lily all the best and a big middle finger to everyone who likes to meddle in others' private business like this.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 4:47 PM on March 8, 2016 [59 favorites]


Fuck the The Daily Mail.
posted by zachlipton at 4:49 PM on March 8, 2016 [62 favorites]


This paragraph:
But these words, "transgender" and "transitioned" are hard for me because they both have lost their complexity in their assimilation into the mainstream. There is a lack of nuance of time and space. To be transgender is something largely understood as existing within the dogmatic terminus of male or female. And to "transition" imparts a sense of immediacy, a before and after from one terminus to another. But the reality, my reality is that I've been transitioning and will continue to transition all of my life, through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one. We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary. Binary is a false idol.
posted by hoyland at 4:52 PM on March 8, 2016 [119 favorites]


"after being threatened with outing by other media"

That's not cool, media people. Stop that.

Then again, we can all help by changing attitudes so it becomes as interesting to out a transgender person as it would be to out someone preferring their toast on the lighter side. I have high hopes for the next generation. My daughter and most of her friends didn't bat an eye when one of their classmates changed gender role.
posted by Triplanetary at 4:57 PM on March 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


Outing people sucks. Good for Lilly Wachowski for taking control of her narrative from the assholes.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:57 PM on March 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


In the long view, or perhaps just in a way helpful to my mental laziness, this will at least make it easier to say "Wachowski sisters" (or siblings, or something) in the future, without explanation or digression.

That is, I look forward to stories about their filmmaking in the future that don't come with parenthetical gossipy nonsense or asterisks attached, because I'd like to be free to think of them as filmmakers again, please.
posted by rokusan at 4:57 PM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


You'd be surprised how many people don't even know about Lana at this point. I've had several people accuse me of making stuff up when I bring her up.
posted by brundlefly at 5:00 PM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yay for Lilly, and fuck the Daily Fail.

I note that there is zero coverage of Lilly at this time on their website. Petty assholes.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:03 PM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Scientifically speaking, I wonder how often this happens, both siblings being transgender. Google seems to return a handful of news stories of two siblings both being transgender, but no studies.

Although considering that we don't even know why one person gets born in a body that doesn't match their gender, I'm not sure that collecting statistics on whether two people in the same family do would shed any light on anything.
posted by chainsofreedom at 5:08 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fuck the Daily Mail, and don't let the stupid media attention stop either of you from making more ridiculously baroque science fiction movies.


Like, a re-boot of Dune, or a live-action version of Rock & Rule, or an adaptation of Starstruck: The Expanding Universe.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:11 PM on March 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ridiculously baroque and earnest. I don't think there's an ironic bone in their bodies, and even when their movies don't work for me I appreciate that.
posted by brundlefly at 5:13 PM on March 8, 2016 [46 favorites]


I know Lily Wachowski doesn't need my approval but this is an incredible response. I will show my support by making sure to see their next film alone and then taking a friend the same day, then putting it on at parties as often as I can. At least that's what I did for Jupiter Ascending.
posted by kittensofthenight at 5:13 PM on March 8, 2016 [16 favorites]


I saw someone mention Wachowski Sisters on twitter about an hour ago, checked wikipedia, didn't see anything. Checked again 10 minutes later, !!!.

We just re-watched Jupiter Ascending a week or two ago (my fourth? viewing), so I guess we'll have to watch Speed Racer next.
posted by you could feel the sky at 5:19 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh man, husband and kid are out of town next week, definitely need to dial up Jupiter Ascending and giggle through it again. Never did see Speed Racer might try that too, though I'm sure it's not the same on the small screen.
posted by emjaybee at 5:20 PM on March 8, 2016


[One deleted. Please don't introduce to this thread offensive things you imagine someone might say about this.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:21 PM on March 8, 2016 [28 favorites]


In a perfect world this wouldn't be news but here we are. Chops to Lilly.
posted by Doleful Creature at 5:28 PM on March 8, 2016


brundlefly,

Just think what they could do with this.


Eddie Redmayne would be perfect as Mok.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:29 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


(NOT A TABLOID)
posted by Evilspork at 5:31 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry that she had to do this in a time, place, and manner not of her choosing, but she's done it in a remarkably awesome way.
posted by rtha at 5:35 PM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


Holy crap, TheWhiteSkull. I've never even heard of that, but based on that scene it's got the Wachowskis written all over it.
posted by brundlefly at 5:42 PM on March 8, 2016


You'd be surprised how many people don't even know about Lana at this point.

I will sheepishly admit that group would include me. I honestly didn't know.

Outing anyone is so wrong and unconscionable. It's probably as deep a personal violation as there could be, barring actual physical violence. Goddamn, I wish our society would evolve quicker, and this kind of media bullshit would stop. Too naive of me?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:43 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


what a beautiful post with such a shitty impetus. <3 to lilly.
posted by nadawi at 5:45 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Damn, now if they would only come out as decent filmmakers.

Ok, that might be excessive snark, but I didn't make Jupiter Ascending.

My best to them. Seriously, not snarling now. I hope they find happiness and peace.
posted by eriko at 5:46 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


and stick with Sense8, it takes a few episodes to hit the groove..
posted by ovvl at 5:47 PM on March 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Good for her.

(I had to resort to Wikipedia to figure out which sibling this was, and was surprised to see it had been edited pretty sensitively (as of now. YMMV.))
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:50 PM on March 8, 2016


Huh. I'm sure I read something about both of them transitioning like, ten years ago. I'm surprised this is being treated as a new development.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:52 PM on March 8, 2016


As Marx said:
People make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.
I also like to think he would have said "Fuck the Daily Mail."
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:55 PM on March 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


Huh. I'm sure I read something about both of them transitioning like, ten years ago. I'm surprised this is being treated as a new development.

well...lilly is treating this as a new revelation. maybe you can point to what you read?
posted by nadawi at 5:55 PM on March 8, 2016


and stick with Sense8, it takes a few episodes to hit the groove..

I think a lot of that, as opposed to their recent string of movies, is that with a far more limited budget available in a TV series, they have to rein things in and make it far more coherent.

But that's irrelevant.

Fuck the Daily Fail.
posted by qcubed at 5:59 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Speed Racer is ridiculous (fun).
posted by neuromodulator at 6:02 PM on March 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


OH -- when I heard a snippet of this earlier I was so confused, and I thought, "Didn't she come out a few years ago?" Didn't realize until right now it was the other sibling. That is sort of momentarily interesting, and now I will go back to just waiting to see what movies/TV they make.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:02 PM on March 8, 2016


through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one.

Well, now I desire to know if gender is countably or uncountably infinite.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:04 PM on March 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


My daughter and most of her friends didn't bat an eye when one of their classmates changed gender role.

Similarly, Jupiter didn't bat an eye when she found out she was space royalty (which is why that movie owns so much).
posted by edeezy at 6:05 PM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


All I remember floating around 10 years ago were some weird, gross articles about rumoured BDSM perversions. And I still remember thinking, hey, they're just like me!
posted by Lorin at 6:05 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ironically, their success and fame make their experience more of a Big Fucking Deal in some ways and less of a Big Fucking Deal in others. And not-successful and not-famous people with a similar experience are both going throgh the same thing and not really going through the same thing at all.

Still, some Hollywood statistician gets to change the number of Women Directors without anybody in the Industry actually DOING anything. Yippee.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:08 PM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think a lot of that, as opposed to their recent string of movies, is that with a far more limited budget available in a TV series, they have to rein things in and make it far more coherent.

I see it the other way, which is that given a broader space and time for storytelling the Siblings can weave together vignettes about love, family, integrity, and self-knowledge into a larger structure of similarities and contrasts. Hail Caesar! comes to mind as another work that isn't really about what it's supposed to be about, but it took me a full 48 hours to figure out how the Cowboy, the Rabbi, the Commies, and the Notary all related to each other. (And I'm still trying to figure out the Cowboy.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:09 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Damn, now if they would only come out as decent filmmakers.

Go to a different thread.
posted by beerperson at 6:09 PM on March 8, 2016 [57 favorites]


the number of women directors should change retroactively. in a more accepting world, we might have always known they are women. bound's ability to be one of the best lesbian films ever certainly makes more sense now.
posted by nadawi at 6:11 PM on March 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


[Folks, this thread is not a general referendum on every movie the Wachowskis have made, and it's a little tone-deaf to take it in that direction. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:24 PM on March 8, 2016 [31 favorites]


Scientifically speaking, I wonder how often this happens, both siblings being transgender.

For a non-scientific anecdote, my brother was AFAB and transitioned (no longer considering himself trans, just a regular guy) and I'm nonbinary. So I've wondered that too.
posted by Foosnark at 6:26 PM on March 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


As much of a hilariously gorgeous mess it would be (and I mean that with absolute love), I would so be on board with a Wachowskis version of Starstruck. Good call, TheWhiteSkull.

I hate that Lilly was outed in this way but I'm glad she took power into her own hands.

I am ambivalent on a lot of what the Wachowskis have done but they're certainly interesting. Even when they fail, their movies are generally worth watching, at least in the "this is fun and ridiculous and entertaining" sense, if not more so. I hope this gives them more freedom to do what they want. I look forward to it.
posted by darksong at 6:28 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh, and congratulations and best wishes to Lilly.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:30 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I did some Googling and am now disappointed with humanity even more if such a thing were possible.

The oldest reference I can find to "the Wachowski sisters" is from January 2007, half a year before Lana came out. There are some others from around that time, so the news was out there. Perhaps some of the references are tongue-in-cheek ways of saying "they're not the Wachowski brothers any more", rather than saying that both siblings were transitioning? I really don't know. Anyway, my recollection could be off, but given that Lana's story was apparently out there before it was Officially Released I think it's probable that at least some of the references were people actually saying "there are two of them, sisters", and I had read that somewhere and mentally filed it away as just another fact.

Facts, I love 'em. Did you know that they were born in Chicago, Illinois? And that Chicago was once just a portage between the Mississippi river and the Great Lakes? GO ON ASK ME THINGS.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:31 PM on March 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


In what will probably be a flurry of hot takes in the next few days, I hope the subject of this metafilter post, about the Matrix trilogy being a trans coming out narrative, rises to the top.
posted by elr at 6:48 PM on March 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


What an incredibly poised and heartfelt statement in the face of terrible media. Bravo.
posted by you're a kitty! at 6:51 PM on March 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Best response so far on Facebook:

AYYY THE MATRIX WAS MADE BY TWO WOMEN

TAKE THAT, REDPILL

posted by book 'em dano at 7:00 PM on March 8, 2016 [180 favorites]


This was an unexpected surprise for International Womens' Day.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:04 PM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


(Seen on Kat Blaque's FB page)
posted by book 'em dano at 7:04 PM on March 8, 2016


The Daily Mail can suck my dick.
posted by medusa at 7:20 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


1) Good on her.
2) Fuck you Daily Mail.
posted by Artw at 7:27 PM on March 8, 2016


Scientifically speaking, I wonder how often this happens, both siblings being transgender.

I have no idea, but as a data point I just shared the OP's link with my older sister, who came out to me as trans last year, about eight years after I transitioned.
posted by Pryde at 7:36 PM on March 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


Huh! Good for her.

Now go make me more Sens8, sisters!
posted by rmd1023 at 7:36 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


OH MY GOD, A WACHOWSKI STARSTRUCK WOULD ROCK MY WORLD. PLEASE PLEASE MAKE THIS HAPPEN, UNIVERSE!
posted by rmd1023 at 7:37 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


bound's ability to be one of the best lesbian films ever certainly makes more sense now.

You are completely right about this. I forgot they were even involved in that film!
posted by great_radio at 7:40 PM on March 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


Um, can I ask a dumb clarifying question from this? Are there three Wachowski siblings (I so don't pay too much attention) or is this saying that the other filmmaking Wachowski sibling who did Matrix/Sense8 etc. is also trans?
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:53 PM on March 8, 2016


The latter.
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:00 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad we can stop saying "the Wachowski Siblings" now.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:35 PM on March 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Well we could keep saying the Wachowski Siblings in aid of a more gender-neutral language, I think?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:46 PM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Something wrong with "the Wachowskis"?
posted by Mothlight at 9:02 PM on March 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


Fuck the Daily Mail, but also good for Lilly! She's lookin' cute as heck.
posted by sparkletone at 9:08 PM on March 8, 2016


Major hugs to her for having to put up with this dumb shit, and fuck the Daily Mail assholes.

Her letter is fucking perfection.
posted by odinsdream at 9:20 PM on March 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also if you haven't watched Lana's speech at HRC, you gotta gotta gotta do that.
posted by odinsdream at 9:25 PM on March 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality for another world."

This quote in her statement really spoke to me. A lot of my education in the ideas of flexibility of gender, of society and of culture has been through the medium of science fiction,a genre and medium that obviously also speaks to the Wachowskis, and this quote to me sums up what I love about science fiction. It's nice to see it so succinctly articulated in a different context.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 9:35 PM on March 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


1) YAY LILLY good for you I hope you live the truest and most excellent of good long lives.

2) FUCK THE DAILY MAIL. "Not a tabloid" my great aunt Fanny. Go choke on ordure.

3) I'm in favor of sticking with "The Wachowskis" in general but do like the ring of "The Wachowski Sisters".

4) [insert joyous cackling at the Red Pill jerks here]
posted by angeline at 9:54 PM on March 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've mentioned here before that I worked with the Wachowskis on the Matrix videogames, and now I find it ha-ha funny that "the Brothers" was always a verbal shorthand for referring to them. As in, "You're gonna need the Brothers to approve that," or "I have a meeting with the Brothers tomorrow." And "which one" was never a question, because they always acted as one unit for everything.

Cheers to Lana and Lilly. Looking forward to their next movie.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:21 PM on March 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Fuck the Daily Mail. Lilly you are amazing.

The Wachowski sisters are inspirational and I admire them very much. I think I'm going to revisit their work, starting from the beginning. There's at least two films I haven't seen yet. Gotta fix that.
posted by defenestration at 10:47 PM on March 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Sometimes it's really tough work to be an optimist. But Lilly's statement makes it much more simple again.
posted by sapagan at 11:14 PM on March 8, 2016


I think it must be really nice for siblings who get along as well as they clearly do to have each other to rely on during such a big life change as transitioning. So often you hear about trans people feeling isolated and not having other close people who they can turn to for advice and support, or not being accepted by their families. Examples like this and the ones other posters up thread mentioned where you have multiple people in one family transition are nice counter examples, especially when they are family members who were already close.
posted by lollusc at 12:38 AM on March 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Although I guess it could also be hard if two family members had very different experiences, feelings and beliefs around transitioning and the world treated them as though their stories should be the same. Or if the first one to transition felt like they did all the work paving the way in terms of educating the rest of the family and social circle and dealing with people's ignorance and stupidity, so that the second person had it easier. Those things would be difficult to handle.
posted by lollusc at 12:42 AM on March 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


infinitewindow: "Yay for Lilly, and fuck the Daily Fail.

I note that there is zero coverage of Lilly at this time on their website. Petty assholes.
"

Well, it's most definitely not a tabloid, so why would The Fail even consider this news?
posted by chavenet at 1:58 AM on March 9, 2016


Well we could keep saying the Wachowski Siblings in aid of a more gender-neutral language, I think?

We could, but perhaps choosing a sibling pair where they aren't trans and it doesn't come across as something of a denial of their gender identity or dodge on the subject at least
Not accusing you of anything, but yeah, this is not the instance where suddenly deciding that language ought to be gender neutral now is most tactful.
posted by Dysk at 2:03 AM on March 9, 2016 [14 favorites]


Not to mention a slightly sarcastic wrap-up that "revealed" my father had injected praying mantis blood into his paternal ball-sac before conceiving each of his children to produce a brood of super women, hellbent on female domination.

Yesssssssss. Lilly, that should be your next movie. Right there. I demand an entire sequel to Jupiter Ascending where it isn't bee-man Sean Bean, but instead your kickass brood of praying mantis women as Jupiter's army.

Also, I think Strazcynski has a lot to do with how great Sense8 is. But I would say that, because I'm a huge Babylon 5 nerd. Also, I love this story about introducing Nomi:
I was saying, "This is a character who's a hacker, who is a bridge between different kinds of worlds. It would be kind of cool if she was transgendered." And Lana shot up out of her chair, dancing around, going, "It wasn't me this time! It was him! It was his idea!"
Everything is adorable nerds comfortable with themselves and nothing hurts. Except for the Daily Mail. Fuck those guys.
posted by Katemonkey at 3:10 AM on March 9, 2016 [21 favorites]



through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one.
Well, now I desire to know if gender is countably or uncountably infinite.


Probably unaccountably infinite (and true) for all fractional values between zero and one, adhering to many-valued logic.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:15 AM on March 9, 2016


lollusc, I was thinking similar thoughts. I hope the sisters are able to help each other out and cheer each other up when necessary, and I hope the similarities in their experiences help with that.
posted by brainwane at 10:24 AM on March 9, 2016


"We could, but perhaps choosing a sibling pair where they aren't trans and it doesn't come across as something of a denial of their gender identity or dodge on the subject at least
Not accusing you of anything, but yeah, this is not the instance where suddenly deciding that language ought to be gender neutral now is most tactful.
"

I googled around a sec and didn't see anything, and the statement repudiating binary seems to prompt the question — anybody know what their preference is? Sibs? Sisters? 'Chowskis? I'd prefer to just find out what they wanna be called.

And as a tangent: Anybody know if there are any good trans* twin studies? I know there are tons for LGB folks, but last time I looked there weren't any that looked all that robust for people who were trans*.
posted by klangklangston at 1:32 PM on March 9, 2016


Fun random fact: Laurence Luckinbill is their uncle.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:05 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


klang; I just did a journal search and it wasn't very fruitful. One terrible study whose methodology was "we looked at some internet groups and talked to our friends" and a bunch of dreck.
posted by odinsdream at 2:41 PM on March 9, 2016


If you haven't already read it, I feel like this is a good moment to check out "Notes Towards a Trans Speed Racer" by Jay Edidin. (Essay turns out to be their first step of coming out, too.)
posted by epersonae at 4:50 PM on March 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


The fact that the Mail was threatening to out Ms Wachowski is a depressing sign of how far we have to go, but if you want to see we have progressed somewhat in a relatively short period of time, look at this disgusting, tittering, pathetic piece from the Guardian in 2008. We're nowhere near as far from that article as we ought to be, but at least it is very hard to imagine a paper with intellectual and progressive pretensions publishing something like that now.
posted by howfar at 5:09 PM on March 9, 2016


"klang; I just did a journal search and it wasn't very fruitful. One terrible study whose methodology was "we looked at some internet groups and talked to our friends" and a bunch of dreck."

I'm not quite sure what it says about me, but one of my persistent GODKING fantasies is to have enough money that I can just bestow grants to study anything that interests me but has a hole in the literature. You know, just waving a scepter and saying, "I would like to know if siblings, especially twins, of trans* people are more likely to also identify as trans*," and having some factotum say, "Would a cohort of 1,000 be acceptable, your excellency?" "One million golds to their primary investigator!"
posted by klangklangston at 6:05 PM on March 9, 2016 [13 favorites]


I mean, with the right social media initiative, you could probably get it done with sheer willpower.
posted by odinsdream at 7:11 PM on March 9, 2016


I'd prefer to just find out what they wanna be called.

I don't know if she was being sarcastic, but her statement begins with "SEX CHANGE SHOCKER—WACHOWSKI BROTHERS NOW SISTERS!!!", so I would go with the Wachowski sisters.
posted by Pendragon at 1:14 AM on March 10, 2016


Is there a reason it nowhere says 'Andy' anywhere (here, not so much there, I understand-ish why it's not there)?

Because I had to look up to check if there were three siblings or not (this whole situation to it seems odd to me), but of course I had to look up Andy's name (because I had forgotten it, although not Lana for Sense8 reasons).

Is there a rule that thou can not refer to Bradley Manning or Bruce Jenner in the past tense no one told me about? I mean, they were (in)famous for stuff. It seems off to attempt to bury that.

But, yeah, chalk me up to wondering (but not actually caring) why two siblings would end up making the same decision, and pondering what (if any) metatextual reading this had on Bound in the wake of reading "Trans Speed Racer" (because, while Jupiter Ascending was not so great, Speed Racer was a carnival of joy).
posted by Mezentian at 4:28 AM on March 10, 2016


Is there a rule that thou can not refer to Bradley Manning or Bruce Jenner in the past tense no one told me about?

Yes, pretty much. Here's why.
posted by howfar at 4:40 AM on March 10, 2016 [10 favorites]


[A couple of comments deleted: it appears to me that the deadnaming question has essentially been addressed. Let's not use it as a jumping-off point for metadiscussion, thanks.]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:01 AM on March 10, 2016


Fun random fact: Laurence Luckinbill is their uncle.

Which means they are related by marriage to Lucille Ball.
posted by brundlefly at 3:07 PM on March 10, 2016


[Couple comments deleted. This, as is many threads on Metafilter, isn't the place to describe your hot-take reaction to basic concepts around trans identity. Please do your research and stick to the topic, here. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:24 AM on March 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Honestly the topic is exactly the bullshit that trans people deal with everyday with respect to dangerous, immoral disclosures of their personal information and the imposition of cisnormative viewpoints on their life stories, which is what Lilly's essay is actually about. The politics of deadnaming are quite relevant.
posted by odinsdream at 9:08 AM on March 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Sense8 had a lot of interesting threads around this definition of the self, I thought. One thing I wonder about is do we talk about their past stuff as directed by the Wachowski brothers, siblings, or sisters? Curious as to what the appropriate way to address the past of a transgendered person.

... and can't wait for season 2 of Sense8. By far my favorite Netflix show.
posted by TNLNYC at 1:33 PM on March 11, 2016


Sense8 also gets points for best use of Freema Agyeman outside Doctor Who.
posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on March 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Curious as to what the appropriate way to address the past of a transgendered person.

I'm sure this has never come up before.

I will be the literal first trans person to answer this. You certainly can't find this explained anywhere by Googling.

Refer to a trans person's past using their current pronouns and name.
posted by odinsdream at 2:06 PM on March 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


"One thing I wonder about is do we talk about their past stuff as directed by the Wachowski brothers, siblings, or sisters? Curious as to what the appropriate way to address the past of a transgendered person. "

As a cis person who often works as a freelance journalist: Start with the current name, and if clarification is necessary, treat as per maiden or stage names. Clarification is very rarely necessary, but something like, "Caitlyn Jenner, then identifying as Bruce Jenner, won the men's decathlon gold medal at the 1976 Olympics." But since it's really rare that you need to clarify something like that, usually just using the current name is best. Jenner's past gender identification is only relevant to the extent that Olympic sports are segregated by gender identity and because Jenner is unlikely to produce more Olympic-level sport wins that would recenter that athletic performance on her now. The Wachowskis (which seems to be consensus) are very likely to keep making movies and TV shows, so it's less likely that their previous gender identity would be relevant or confusing for a reader — articles are almost always about new stuff, so even though some readers may need a little clarification that they're the same Wachowskis that did the Matrix trilogy, that will wane.

I expect that as more people begin to publicly identify as gender fluid or agender or other gender identities that may require more active reconsideration of pronoun usage (I had a coworker who identified as "gender nonconforming," and requested that people use the binary opposite of how they believed the coworker was presenting, i.e. "he" when the coworker was wearing a dress — it sounds more complicated than it was in practice, which was pretty easy), the terminology will shift, but right now it's pretty much the norm to assume that most people have a fixed, long-term gender identity, and that those who publicly transition are making their private gender identity public, rather than changing how they privately identify.
posted by klangklangston at 2:26 PM on March 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Sense8 also gets points for best use of Freema Agyeman outside Doctor Who.

Law and Order UK! Okay, I may be the only person who watched it. (Though it somehow lasted five series, I think.)
posted by hoyland at 5:57 AM on March 12, 2016


I also watched it! I didn't realize it had gone for 5 series. Did they eventually write new content for the UK edition or just keep re-using L&O storylines from the US version? (Some of the storylines hadn't aged well or didn't translate well to the UK in my opinion, but some were fun.)

Sens8 was still a better use of Agyeman, I think More fun! Fewer white wigged solicitors!
posted by rmd1023 at 5:48 AM on March 13, 2016


More fun! Fewer white wigged solicitors!

I don't think you understand the joy of UK courtroom dramas.

I *bangs gavel* sentence you to 90 minutes per year if The Bill.
posted by Mezentian at 6:08 AM on March 13, 2016


In my defense, I will note the presence of lesbians and strap-ons in Sens8; I'm not made of stone, here. It doesn't look like "The Bill" is available for streaming in the US. Can I get my sentence reduced to time served with L&O:UK plus assorted episodes of "Prime Suspect", "Broadchurch", "The Fall", and "Waking the Dead"?
posted by rmd1023 at 8:16 AM on March 13, 2016


Hopefully this will point out that those awesome films that all the nerds thought were made by guys were totally made by women. Seriously, I hope this throws a few gender stereotypes out the window.
posted by bendy at 8:20 PM on March 13, 2016


In my defense, I will note the presence of lesbians and strap-ons in Sens8;

I saw that scene first as a gif.
It was... hypnotic.
Especially the detail they put in to the fluid dynamics.
posted by Mezentian at 2:53 AM on March 14, 2016


Hopefully this will point out that those awesome films that all the nerds thought were made by guys were totally made by women.

It also means all those shit films* were made by women.

(*And, for me I cover the second two Matrix movies and Jupiter Ascending, put if this thread has taught me three things, people actually like that film. Which I cannot understand, but I am Team Speed Racer, and so few people understand me for that.)
posted by Mezentian at 2:56 AM on March 14, 2016


Way to miss literally the entire point, Mezentian.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:42 AM on March 14, 2016


Like, seriously... "well yeah but they did some poop too" is not at all the appropriate response when saying "hey women did awesome things, which hopefully will open a few minds in nerdbro culture, and even more importantly they were trans women, which makes a huge difference in visibility for other trans people out there and provides even more opportunity to open multifaceted dialogues about intersectionality and the position of women and oh by the way here's how to use pronouns and other gendered language when talking about trans people."

It is even less an appropriate response when coming from a (presumably) straight, cis, dude.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:11 AM on March 14, 2016 [4 favorites]




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