"Cloud Atlas" will be winding its way to movie theaters shortly, being billed as an exploration of "how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future." Neat, huh?
Except that the movie is in danger of ending up buried under an avalanche of press that is distracted by the fact that a promo video is Matrix trilogy co-filmmaker Lana Wachowski’s first public appearance since transitioning in 2006.
Times have changed a little, at least. Since she made her decision, Chaz Bono also grabbed headlines for his transition to male. In the music world, Mina Caputo of Life of Agony and Laura Jane Grace of Against Me! rocked the metal and punk worlds with their announcements. In the modeling and acting realms, Alexandra Billings, Isis King, Alexis Arquette and Candis Cayne emerged - most having transitioned prior to achieving celebrity status, but still grabbing headlines. And Jenna Talackova sent waves around the world after fighting for (and winning) the right to compete in the Miss Universe pageant.
In a few short years, we discovered celebrities in our midst... and they were no longer automatically met with the same sensationalistic, lurid, invalidating and vicious derision that had been previously the norm - or when they were, they were also widely supported and found allies.
That’s probably not a whole lot of comfort for Wachowski, who’s still being met with some abhorrent commentaries. Wachowski’s transition had originally been the subject of a ghastly exposé - a sensationalistic, lurid, misrepresentative sideshow-style piece that probably drove her further into reclusive seclusion than she needed to be.
But something does speak volumes from the video: she’s happy, full of creative energy, and in the end, that will speak louder than the negatives.
When Mina Caputo announced her decision to transition and the media called her the first recording artist to do so in the spotlight (in actuality, Jayne County was probably the first, in 1979, but that makes Caputo’s coming-out no less groundbreaking in 2012), the first thing the public did was look back and see where she had let the clues slip. Her chosen band name - "Life of Agony" - was probably the first clue, but then there were lyrics like this:
1) September 14, 1991. Quoted fromhttp://www.gaycalgary.com/u478
2) Now offline, but archived athttp://www.gaycalgary.com/u485