Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Its importance to LGBTQ + communities runs deeper than ever.

Like many other children of the 90s, Myriad Augustine was a fan of The matrix. But as a trans, non-binary person, their connection to the film series meant something different.

Augustine knew that their gender did not match the one assigned to them at birth, but as a child there was not much to do about this realization. This changed in 1999 when The matrix, in all its sci-fi glory, presented a new reality. “Even when I was very early on discovering my own identity, there are things in the film that resonated,” Augustine says.

The matrix the queer importance is deeper with its fourth opus, Matrix resurrections, which premiered on December 22.

Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The dystopian series – set in a world where AI-powered machines have taken over and trapped humans in a simulated reality – inspired academic literature, video trials and social media threads that interpret its queer symbolism.

Turns out it wasn’t just fan speculation. Sisters Lilly and Lana Wachowski, who co-wrote and directed the series, both went trans after the first movie hit screens. And in 2020, Lilly Wachowski confirmed this The matrix was, as many in the community suspected, a trans allegory. But two decades earlier, a young Augustine had already taken note of it.

Now a member of the board of directors of Youth Line, an organization that supports 2SLGBTQ + youth in Ontario, they say The matrix also talks about how technology can empower community.

“When you think about the process by which 2SLGBTQ youth [are] by contacting us, we do not exist face to face with them. That’s the whole point: there is anonymity and there is security, ”they explain. Today, COVID-19 has taken the organization further in the digital realm.

“Suddenly, we had to maintain our virtual existence while completely changing our physical existence. Not unlike The matrix, I guess, now that I say it out loud.

The series follows Neo (Keanu Reeves) as he fights alongside a team of rebels to liberate humanity. The first film opens with Neo leading a double life: alternating between his first name, Thomas Anderson, during the day, and Neo, his Internet hacker name, at night.

Ultimately, he embraces his true identity as Neo, and this journey has long been linked to the gender transition to treat.

queer matrix resurrections
Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

After writing and directing the original trilogy with her sister Lilly, Lana Wachowski makes history with Matrix resurrections as the first transgender director to directing a big blockbuster movie.

Matrix resurrections features openly gay cast members like Neil Patrick Harris and Jonathan Groff, and similarly to the original, some characters are queer-coded (i.e., they aren’t explicitly declared to be queer. ). Queerness is arguably symbolized by the characters’ refreshed wardrobes, made up of bright colors that are markedly different from the all-black aesthetic of the original trilogy.

Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

“Fashion was extremely developed to represent homosexuality,” Augustine explains of the new film. This is perhaps best seen through Neo’s Professor Morpheus, who is presented as a new version of himself.

Actor Yahya Abdul-Mateen II sets a new tone as the 2021 Morpheus. When Neo first meets Morpheus, he wears a burnt yellow suit with a trendy belt buckle. “All the colors out there are extremely resonant of the Caribbean [and] West African culture, ”notes Augustine.

In the original film, the character (played by Laurence Fishburne) wears the iconic cyberpunk style that is now synonymous with the series. Fishburne’s Morpheus was the first time Augustine, who is a mixed black person, felt represented in the predominantly white Gothic subculture.

“I was friends with all goths, but I could never be a goth because you just don’t really have non-white goths – which isn’t true, but that’s the message,” explain -they. “Being able to see Morpheus in the original film in this weird goth cyberpunk subculture was a huge entry point for inclusion for me. “

queer matrix resurrections
Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The matrix has been praised for its messages of existentialism, choice and identity. Decades later Matrix resurrections builds on its heritage in the queer community.

“[The Matrix conveys] the idea that you can radically change your life. Maybe you won’t look great when you start doing it, maybe you won’t really know what you are doing when you start doing it. But if you find this community, it’s worth it, ”Augustine says. “It is always worth it to truly live and truly represent yourself. “


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