Netflix Offers Analysis Of ‘The Matrix’ Through A ‘Trans Lens’

In an Aug. 6 Twitter thread than spanned 20 tweets, Netflix offered an extensive analysis explaining why the 1999 hit film “The Matrix” is an allegory for the transgender experience.

“For years, fans of THE MATRIX have discussed the film through a trans lens,” the thread began. “If you’ve heard the theory before or just learned about it, here’s a thread breaking down the trans allegory of the film, from trans writers and critics. Welcome to the desert of the real.”

“The Matrix” trilogy was directed by then-brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski, who have since transitioned and go by the names Lana and Lilly, respectively. Linking to a video they did with Lilly about the “trans narrative” of the movie, Netflix wrote, “Lilly Wachowski recently looked back on the film and confirmed the long-discussed theory of THE MATRIX as an allegory for gender transition. ‘THE MATRIX was all about the desire for transformation, but it was all coming from a closeted point of view.’”

Citing various scholars, writers, and critics, the thread goes on to offer an in-depth explanation for why “The Matrix” is “super trans.” Among the revelations are that The Matrix itself is analogous to the gender binary, Keanu Reeves’ character Neo is experiencing gender dysphoria, the agents symbolize transphobia, the famous “red pill” is actually a metaphor for hormone replacement drugs, and the iconic “bullet time” sequence is “an effect resonant with the experience of gender transition and its multiple embodiments across time.”

Anticipating those who might claim that Lilly Wachowski is simply making up the trans interpretation of the film after the fact, Netflix advised, “Some have rushed to call Lilly’s recent acknowledgment of the trans themes in THE MATRIX ‘revisionist’ or ‘retconning.’ And to that I say, who are you to tell not only a creator, but also a trans person, what was or wasn’t present in their minds while making their own film?”

“While the Wachowski sisters coming out post-MATRIX may have prompted fans to revisit their filmography through a trans lens, they were always trans women and THE MATRIX is and always will be a film by two trans filmmakers,” they added.

“Lilly and Lana Wachowski gave us one of the most influential, enduring, and celebrated films of all time. Through THE MATRIX, they gave trans people the possibility of a cinematic world without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible,” the thread concluded.


The trans Matrix tweets come weeks after Netflix promoted an episode of their new show “The Baby-Sitters Club,” which features a 9-year-old trans child named Bailey. “When Bailey comes down with a fever, Mary Anne rushes her to the hospital, where two doctors misgender her,” one of the tweets read. “Mary Anne firmly corrects them. Misgendering is traumatic. This is one of the baseline ways cisgender people can show up for the trans people in their life[.]”


Related: Obamas Made Deal With Netflix. Their New Film Celebrates … Michelle Obama.

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