Rewriting the Script

Trans folks are screaming with joy over this detail about the Wachowski sisters

If you grew up as a Millennial egg, there was something deeply special about communing with the films of the Wachowskis in the pre-trans tipping point years. From the original Matrix trilogy to the much-maligned Speed Racer to the neo-noir classic Bound, the Wachowski sisters’ output felt like it spoke to us, and it’s no wonder why. Even before most of us—including Lilly and Lana themselves—had the chance to come out as trans, the sisters were creating work about the impossibility of living a cis life when there was a more authentic, if hard-to-access, option out there.

So imagine our joy when both sisters came out as trans—Lana in 2012, and Lilly in 2016. It felt so right, and to have two incredibly influential trans filmmakers working in the famously transphobic sphere of Hollywood felt auspicious. Before Jane Schoenbrun was making features, before Elliott Page was out, before it felt like there was any voice representing us or standing up for us in Hollywood, the Wachowskis felt like our biggest hope for trans stories getting the big platforms they deserved.

Now, critics are looking at the Wachowskis’ body of work with new eyes. In the past few years, the Matrix franchise has been rebooted (granted, not entirely to the specifications of what Lana and Lilly would like) and the sisters’ past films like Cloud Atlas and Speed Racer are getting reassessed as the modern classics they are. Case in point: The Criterion Collection just released a new edition of Bound, and they added a very special and much-needed edit to the original film.

That’s right: The Criterion DVD release of Bound correctly names both sisters.

If you’ve never been deadnamed or faced the challenge of trying to move past the name you were assigned at birth in the professional realm, you might not see this as a big deal. But to trans people, it’s huge. It’s not often that trans folks get to go back and have their egg credits changed to reflect who they’ve always been, so the Criterion Collection going the extra mile here feels especially moving.

This is the kind of treatment every trans artist deserves.

In a perfect world, this would be the accepted standard. Any re-release of a movie with trans folks in it would take the extra time and care to make this small correction—but sadly, that rarely happens.

So yes, trans folks are basking in this win. Can you blame us?

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