October 26, 2012

IconHuman Rights Campaign Visibility Award Winner Lana Wachowski gives her acceptance speech

“To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.”

So says Mouse, the young Nebuchadnezzar crew member in the first of the highly successful Matrix films.  Never has a quote been more pertinent than this week, when Lana Wachowski, one of the film’s co-creators, received the Visibility award from the Human Rights Campaign.

A role model

So why did she receive this award?  Lana’s answer: “For being myself.”

And it’s true.  Founded in the US in 1980, The Human Rights Campaign is a civil rights movement working to achieve equality for LGBT people.  The Visibility Award is given for what it suggests: an LGBT person who is ‘visible’, in the public eye, as a role model for others.

As it turns out, the multi-talented director, writer and producer (to name just a few of her gifts), who describes herself as “painfully shy”, is exactly the sort of role model any child, teenager, or adult for that matter, would be lucky to have.

Prior to her receiving this award, I knew nothing about Lana Wachowski’s life and very little about her professional career.  Having watched her acceptance speech for this award, I cannot imagine a time when I will not be one of her admirers.

Funny and moving

As funny as it is moving, this speech picks out pivotal personal moments in Wachowski’s life (“having good parents is like winning the lottery”), as well as broadly questioning the nature of our society (“No one likes making speeches…why does anyone make them?”).

Intelligent, articulate and perceptive, Lana Wachowski is indeed the ultimate role model for any young person, LGBT or otherwise.  I cannot do justice to her speech merely by commenting on it, so please watch it here:


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Sue Curley


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