Entries in Transgender (8)


"Matrix" Director Comes Out as Transgender

Keanu Reeves with Larry Wachowski in 2003. Zhou Bachi/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- The director of The Matrix and the much-anticipated film Cloud Atlas has come out as transgender.

Lana Wachowski, formerly Larry Wachowski, reveals her new name and appearance in a promotional clip for Cloud Atlas. Seated between her brother, Andy Wachowski, and director Tom Tykwer, she says, “Hi, I’m Lana.” She wears a gray dress and hot pink dreadlocks.

Wachowski, 47, has been transitioning from a man to a woman for years, according to the New York Post. The Hollywood director made headlines in 2002 during a bitter divorce from wife Thea Bloom. At the time, People magazine reported that Bloom filed papers saying Wachowski “has been extremely dishonest with me in our personal life” and said the couple’s separation was “based on very intimate circumstances concerning which I do not elaborate at this time for the reasons of his personal privacy.”

Wachowski is the latest public figure to come out as transgender. Earlier this year, Stephen Ira Beatty, the son of actors Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, spoke out about his transition from a woman to a man. In May, Tom Gabel, singer of the punk band Against Me!, told Rolling Stone he’s transgender and plans to start living as a woman, Laura Jane Grace.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Against Me! Frontman Tom Gabel Becoming a Woman

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tom Gabel, singer of the punk rock band Against Me!, has revealed to Rolling Stone that he’s making the transition from man to woman.

In an interview with the magazine, Gabel detailed how he’s battled with gender identity disorder.  As part of his transition, Gabel said, he’ll take hormones, undergo electrolysis treatments, and change his name to Laura Jane Grace.

Gabel, 31, anticipates struggles along the way. He said, “I’m going to have embarrassing moments, and that won’t be fun. But that’s part of what talking to you is about — is hoping people will understand, and hoping they’ll be fairly kind.”

Gabel said he will remain married to his wife, who has been “understanding.” They have a two-year-old daughter together.

Rolling Stone said Gabel is the first major rock star to come out as transgender.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Director of ‘The Fighter’ Accused of Groping Transgender Niece’s Breasts

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(BROWARD COUNTY, Fla.) -- An investigation has been launched into an allegation made against Oscar-nominated director David O. Russell by his 19-year-old transgender niece.

Russell, the director of The Fighter, is accused of allegedly touching the breasts of his niece, who was born male and is in a preoperative phase of her transition, TMZ reported Thursday.

According to the TMZ, Russell had joined the niece for a workout at a South Florida hotel gym on Dec. 30 and was asking questions about her breasts and the effect of hormones she’s taking to enlarge them when he touched them.

According to a police report filed three days after the incident, the niece told authorities she felt “uncomfortable,” but admitted she “did not ask him to stop at any time.”

According to the police report, when Russell was contacted by investigators, he confirmed he did touch his niece’s breasts but only after she had given him permission.

A police officer noted in the report that Russell stated his niece “is always causing drama since the transgender transformation and has become very provocative and seductive.”

The Broward County Sheriff’s Department told TMZ the case is currently under investigation and authorities plan to re-interview both parties.  Reps for Russell have not been available for comment.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


GLAAD Raises Concerns over ABC Cross-Dressing Comedy 'Work It'

ABC/ERIC MCCANDLESS(LOS ANGELES) -- The premise of a new ABC comedy just doesn't work for GLAAD.  The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation has posted an essay on its website in which it argues that the midseason sitcom Work It, in which two guys dress as women to land jobs, hurts the transgender community.

Matt Kane, GLAAD's associate director of entertainment media, writes, "During a period in which the transgender community now routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, the timing couldn’t be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny.  In fact, shows like this have the power to put the transgender community in an even more dangerous position."

Kane says GLAAD has seen the pilot episode, and while it does not address the transgender community, "Work It invites the audience to laugh at images of men trying to adopt a feminine appearance, thereby also making it easier to mock people whose gender identity and expression are different than the one they were assigned at birth."

Work It premieres on ABC on Jan. 3.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chaz Bono Threatens to Sue 'National Enquirer' over Headline

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Chaz Bono is upset over a National Enquirer headline claiming the recent Dancing with the Stars contestant will die within four years because of health issues related to his gender transition.

Chaz's attorney, Dina LaPolt, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the publication demanding a retraction and apology for the headline, according to E! News.

"This is absolutely outrageous, false, fabricated, and highly defamatory," wrote LaPolt, calling the headline "salacious and inflammatory" and saying it was "crafted for the malicious purpose of discriminating against our client's gender and sexual orientation."

LaPolt expressed concern about the Enquirer's assertions that "obesity, testosterone supplements, and high suicide rates among transgender people all increase Chaz's risk of an early death."

LaPolt also took issue with Patrick Wanis, cited by the Enquirer as a "transgender specialist," which LaPolt says is "highly misleading and blatantly false...(as) he is not a physician and has no specialty in transgender health issues."

The letter, sent last week, said Bono will pursue legal action if the Enquirer did not retract its story within 24 hours.

An Enquirer representative said the publication is sticking to its story.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chaz Bono to Be Honored with Hero Award from Education Group

ABC/RICK ROWELL(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, a national organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students, plans to honor Chaz Bono Friday with its Hero Award at the annual Respect Awards in Beverly Hills.

Bono, the child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher and a current contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, has written three books including Transition, his candid account of a 40-year struggle to match his gender identity with his physical body and his transformation from female to male.  He has recently shared his life and experiences in the three-time Emmy nominated documentary Becoming Chaz.

Speaking to ABC News Radio about the award, Bono said, “It's great, it's a great honor, I mean it's an organization that does so much for kids and anti-bullying and those are all subjects really close to my heart and so I'm really happy to be getting a nod from them.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GLAAD Sees Decline in Number of Gay Characters on TV

ABC/PETER "HOPPER" STONE(NEW YORK) -- GLAAD has announced that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters account for 2.9 percent of regular characters in primetime scripted broadcast TV for the 2011-12 season. That's down from 3.9 percent in 2010.

The percentage of LGBT characters on primetime scripted cable TV also dipped from last year, according to GLAAD.

From Modern Family to True Blood to Glee, many of the shows acclaimed by both critics and audiences are also invested in developing LGBT characters.

"We're ecstatic," Matt Kane, GLAAD's associate director of entertainment and media, said about ABC's Modern Family, which recently won the Emmy for best comedy series for the second year in a row.

"It's a great show, it's a hit with viewers and critics," Kane said. "We're very excited to see how they're going to approach this new storyline of Mitchell and Cameron adopting a second son [sic]."

GLAAD's report also found that there are currently no recurring black LGBT characters on broadcast shows.

"I think we're going to see more and more gay characters on both cable and network TV as time goes on," said Herndon Graddick, GLAAD's senior director of programs. "The American public is hungry for diverse characters. They want TV to be reflective of their experience in life."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Dancing with the Stars' Producer Defends Casting of Chaz Bono

ABC/RICK ROWELL(LOS ANGELES) -- It’s only been a few days since the new Dancing with the Stars roster was announced, but the show’s executive producer has already been forced to defend the choice of certain celebrities, particularly Chaz Bono.

Some people on the message boards have criticized the selection of Cher’s transgender son, with one commenter writing, "I am disgusted with the choice of Chaz Bono."

And that’s not all., which says its goal is to “stop the exploitation of our children, especially by the entertainment media,” says Dancing with the Stars has "gone too far" by casting Bono and the openly gay Carson Kressley.  The organization is asking people who visit the site to email ABC and "let them know that we will not tolerate" lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues "being forced into our homes."

Dancing with the Stars executive producer Conrad Green believes the backlash against Bono is premature.

He says, “I would ask those people, who've expressed discontent about this, to give Chaz a try.  If they still feel the same after, so be it.  But have an open mind.  You might actually find that you really grow to like Chaz.”

Green also disputes the notion that the show is pushing an LGBT agenda.

He says, “I've been accused of having a right-wing agenda when I had Bristol Palin on the show, and we've been accused all kinds of agendas in the past and I genuinely don't think we have one.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio