Qmmunity: Whoa. The Matrix Is Back!

Remembering the message behind the blockbuster as a new Wachowskis opus appears on the horizon

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Hey, have y'all heard of The Matrix? You know: long, leather coats; Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves serving lesbian love parallels; wild speculation that Joey Pants' character Cypher is actually based on transmedicalist jerkwad No. 1 Buck Angel? (The theory is very disprovable, but like ... hard to ignore.) With the new trailer out for the film series' fourth installment, Resurrections, and me getting another chance to do the Qmmunity column, I wanted to touch on how much the films' trans allegories mean to me. The idea of knowing clearly something is wrong, "like a splinter in your mind," as Morpheus says, while all the world fights to keep you from discovering the truth lest you destroy the very fabric of its oppressive, normalcy-obsessed façade is pretty powerful for trans people. Even the fact that Neo comes to find a community of others who have been awakened matches how good and empowering finding other trans people feels.

There is also another, more personal element to my excitement over this new Matrix addition. Early in 2020 – pre-COVID weirdly enough – a former friend declared themselves entirely TERF-pilled and it was a difficult, sad experience. To be honest, seeing someone I used to talk to about The Matrix begin posting hateful and dishonest rhetoric about trans people was painful. But after cutting ties with that person, I did dwell on our previous conversations and remembered her favorite Matrix character was always Agent Smith, the software designed to police those who dared buck their code. Similar in their tactics, TERFs and gender critical donks seek destruction of gender freedom as Agent Smith seeks the removal of humanity. This policing aligns itself with right-wing attacks, as Judith Butler points out in their now-removed answer in a Guardian interview, and is incompatible with the fight against the rise of fascism, as TERF rhetoric represents a fascist strain itself. The LGBTQIA community must fight back against this fascist machinery through solidarity and queer love – black leather and cool sunglasses not required, but encouraged.

2 to Do

It's Britney, Bitch Inspired by the life of Britney Spears, a rotating cast of performers come together from Austin's arts and comedy scenes to humorously explore themes of empowerment, fame, mental health, and the absurdity of our own participation in pop culture. Note: A portion of ticket sales will go to the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. Through Sept. 25. Sat., 7pm. Fallout Theater, 616 Lavaca. $15-20. falloutcomedy.com.

Austin Babtist Women Anniversary The Austin Babtist Women celebrate praising the gay for nearly four decades. Proceeds will benefit the Austin chapter of the Texas Gay Rodeo Association and its charity benefactors. Sat., Sept. 18, 7-9pm. Oilcan's, 211 W. Fourth. fb.com/oilcanharrys.

Q'd Up

Dieciséis by Frida Friday ATX Frida Friday's Mexican Independence Day celebration features music from DJs KickIt and Helios, free food by Matador, Dulce Vida drink specials, and more. Thu., Sept. 16, 6:30-9:30pm. Lustre Pearl South, 10400 Menchaca Rd. Free entry. fb.com/fridafridayatx.

allgo Community Healing Series Join QTBIPOC grassroots org allgo and curandera Erika Casasola for a workshop on traditional Indigenous medicine and its benefits. Fri., Sept. 17, 1-3pm. Online. Free (registration required). fb.com/allgoqpoc.

Frida Friday ATX The Frida Friday babes celebrate Mexican Independence Day (Sept. 16) with a special lineup of vendors and DJs. Watch the Facebook event page for lineup announcements. Sat., Sept. 18, 6-10pm. Central Machine Works, 4824 E. Cesar Chavez. Free entry. fb.com/fridafridayatx.

Wimberley Pride Ride As part of Wimberley Pride's COVID-cautious celebration this year, organizers are nixing the in-person march for a rainbow-hued parade. Cheer from along the route, or join in on the fun with your own vehicle. Ride assembly begins at 6pm, cars take off at 7pm. Sat., Sept. 18. 136 Stillwater Rd. Free. fb.com/wimberleypride.

Sky Candy Presents: Choose (Y)Our Own Adventure Join this blended online/in-person extravaganza featuring two video aerial showcases from students and staff; plus, queer pop princess p1nkstar wows in between with a live performance in person. In-person attendees must show proof of vaccination, and masks are required. See Facebook for how to watch the event online. Sat., Sept. 18, 8-10pm. Sky Candy, 1023 Springdale Ste. 8-A. $10-60. skycandyaustin.com.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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Matrix, Keanu Reeves, Wachowskis

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