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Just how rare is it for two siblings to be transgender: Wachowski sisters raise questions

by AirTalk®

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(L-R) Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski attend the 'Cloud Atlas' Germany Premiere at CineStar on November 5, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Filmmaker Lilly Wachowski, best known for co-directing “The Matrix” trilogy, announced this week that she is a transgender woman.

Lilly, formerly known as Andy, made the announcement four years after her sibling Larry Wachowski announced he was transitioning to become Lana.

Lilly chose to come out after she claims she was threatened by a Daily Mail reporter who knocked on her door and asked to do an exclusive interview about her transition. Arguably the most high-profile person to come out at transgender since Caitlyn Jenner, Lilly’s announcement raises questions about the role of the public and media in outing an individual, especially one who has not led as public a life as someone like Jenner.

The news also raises questions about how rare it is for two siblings to be transgender and what the latest science reveals about the possible biological underpinnings of being transgender.


Rachel Levin, PhD associate professor of Biology and Chair of Neuroscience at Pomona College; she’s also a contributor to the academic volume Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

Georg KranzMSc, PhD at the Medical University of Vienna; he worked on a 2014 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience that found that individuals who identified as transsexuals — those who wanted sex reassignment — had structural differences in their brains that were between their desired gender and their genetic sex

Thomas Page McBee, advocate on transgender issues around media visibility and author of "Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness, and Becoming a Man." He’s writes frequently for Playboy magazine and is currently the Director of Growth at the news site Quartz; he tweets from @ThomasPageMcBee

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