Co-director of the Matrix films Lana Wachowski, who came out as transgender earlier this year, says she almost committed suicide as a young adult because of her identity struggles.

Speaking at a recent event for the Human Rights Campaign in San Francisco where she accepted the LGBT organisation’s Visibility Award, Wachowski talked about her difficult time at her Catholic school and said:

“In the absence of words to defend myself, without examples, without models, I began to believe voices in my head – that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be loveable”.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the 47-year-old revealed that she previously wrote a four-page suicide note to her parents and almost jumped in front of a subway train, but was stopped by an elderly stranger.

“I don’t know why he wouldn’t look away,” Wachowski told the crowd. “All I know is that because he didn’t, I am still here.”

Comparing her own experiences of transphobia to a character in her latest film, Cloud Atlas, she said:

“People are freaked out by GLBT people,” she continued, “they’re angry about my gender or my life or the way I inhabit the world the same way that Hugo [Weaving] as Mephi feels that Sonmi is a threat to his natural order in the world.  So it’s a weighty choice to do this, but I think… I hope it’s worth it.”

Last month, the film director said: “for years, I couldn’t even say the words ‘transgender’ or ‘transexual’”.