The Matrix is a transgender allegory, according to one of the iconic sci-fi film’s creators.
Lilly Wachowski — who co-wrote and co-directed the Matrix trilogy with her sister, Lana Wachowski — confirmed a long-running internet theory that the 1999 film contains multiple analogies for someone coming to terms with their gender identity, LGBTQ Nation reports.
Appearing on YouTube series Netflix Film Club, Wachowski said that the films representing a “trans narrative” was their “original intention.”
“I’m glad that people are talking about the movies, The Matrix movies, with a trans narrative,” Wachowski said.
“I’m glad that it has gotten out that that was the original intention,” she continued. “The corporate world wasn’t ready for it.”
Wachowski added that The Matrix was “all about the desire for transformation, but it was all coming from a closeted point of view.”
Trans fans of The Matrix, which starred Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Laurence Fishburne, have traded theories regarding the film’s themes and imagery, including the central character experiencing a dysphoria between two different worlds (in the Matrix‘s case, a digital simulation and a dystopian reality).
In addition, the films feature chosen names — Reeves’ character picks Neo, for instance — and the infamous “red pill” scene, which awakens Neo to reality. Trans viewers have noted the similarity to estrogen pills in the 1990s, taken as part of hormone therapy, which features a similar red hue.
The Wachowskis created the Matrix films, released between 1999 and 2003, prior to both coming out as transgender — Lana in 2010, and Lilly in 2016.
Wachowski told Netflix Film Club that science fiction appealed to her and her sister as a means of creating their own worlds and escaping from reality.
“I don’t know how present my transness was in the background of my brain as we were writing it,” Wachowski said on Netflix Film Club, “especially for me and Lana, we were existing in this space where the words didn’t exist so we were always living in a world of imagination.”
She also noted that the character of Switch, played by Belinda McClory, was originally intended to be represented as “a man in the real world and then a woman in the matrix.”
“That’s where our head spaces were,” Wachowski said.
A fourth Matrix film is currently planned for release in 2022, co-written by Lana Wachowski and with Reeves, Moss, and Jada Pinkett Smith reprising their roles.
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!