Mail Online says courteous reporter made no attempt to 'out' film-maker Lilly Wachowski as transgender

Mail Online has said that it did not force US film-maker Lilly Wachowski (pictured above) into revealing publicly that she is transgender.

The co-director of The Matrix has issued a statement about her gender identity after being doorstepped by a reporter from DailyMail.Com, Mail Online's US-facing website.
 
This is her account of what happened when she answered the door to the male reporter:
"This might be a little awkward," he said in an English accent.
 
I remember sighing.
 
Sometimes it's really tough work to be an optimist.
 
He proceeded to explain he was a journalist from the Daily Mail, which was the largest news service in the UK and was most definitely not a tabloid. And that I really had to sit down with him tomorrow or the next day or next week so that I could have my picture taken and tell my story which was so inspirational! And that I really didn't want to have someone from the National Enquirer following me around, did I? BTW—The Daily Mail is so definitely not a tabloid.

My sister Lana and I have largely avoided the press. I find talking about my art frustratingly tedious and talking about myself a wholly mortifying experience. I knew at some point I would have to come out publicly. You know, when you're living as an out transgender person it's … kind of difficult to hide. I just wanted—needed some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable.

But apparently I don't get to decide this.

After he had given me his card, and I closed the door it began to dawn on me where I had heard of the Daily Mail. It was the "news" organization that had played a huge part in the national public outing of Lucy Meadows, an elementary school teacher and trans woman in the UK. An editorial in the "not-a-tabloid" demonized her as a damaging influence on the children's delicate innocence and summarized "he's not only trapped in the wrong body, he's in the wrong job." The reason I knew about her wasn't because she was transgender it was because three months after the Daily Mail article came out, Lucy committed suicide.

And now here they were, at my front door, almost as if to say— "There's another one! Let's drag 'em out in the open so we can all have a look!"

She then went to explain in her statement that she was indeed transgender.
 
DailyMail.com said in a statement:
DailyMail.com categorically denies that it in anyway tried to coerce Lilly Wachowski into revealing her gender transition.
 
As Ms Wachowski herself says, we were not the first media organization to approach her and we made absolutely clear at several points in the conversation that we were only interested in reporting the story if and when she was happy for us to do so and with her cooperation.
 
Our reporter was extremely sympathetic and courteous at all times, as is obvious from our transcript of the exchange.
 
Indeed the conversation with our journalist ended with Ms Wachowski agreeing to call him the following day.
 
The previous case to which she refers was a UK primary (elementary) school teacher, Lucy Meadows, who planned to return to school after the winter holidays in 2013 with a new sexual identity. The Daily Mail did NOT ‘out’ her or hound her.
 
The story emerged after the school wrote announcing the change to parents, some of whom contacted the local media because they were concerned their children might be too young to understand what had happened.
 
The Daily Mail newspaper, which is a separate editorial operation to DailyMail.com, subsequently carried the personal view of a columnist who, while emphatically defending Ms Meadows’ right to transition echoed some parents concerns about whether it was right for children to confront complex gender issues at such a vulnerable young age.
 
In the event, it emerged at her inquest that Ms Meadows made no mention either of the press in general or of the Daily Mail in particular in an extensive suicide note.
 
As The Guardian reported at the time: ‘In a note she left, she made no mention of press intrusion, citing instead her debts, a number of bereavements including the death of her parents, and her stressful job as a primary school teacher.
 
‘She insisted she was not depressed or mentally ill and thanked her friends, family and colleagues for their support, as well as messages she had received from well-wishers around the world.’
 
We wish Lilly Wachowski well with her journey though we are surprised as to how she has reacted, given the courtesy and sensitivity with which the reporter approached her.
 

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