Lana Wachowski

What I learned about gender -- and compassion -- the last time I interviewed the Wachowskis

Early in 2015, while promoting their movie “Jupiter Ascending,” the Wachowski siblings were sharing a drink with me at a Century City hotel, discussing how their lives had changed since Lana, the elder of the two, had come out publicly as transgender in 2012.

They described a disorienting new world where strangers either flashed aggressive stares at Lana or offered her warm, enveloping hugs. They lamented the loss of anonymity in their downtime — as people pestered them in their Chicago Bulls season seats, or demanded selfies at an LGBT block party that had once been a low-key good time for Lana and her wife.

“Maybe you didn’t...