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‘Batgirl’ casts Ivory Aquino as first trans character in a DC Comics feature film

Barbara Gordon has officially found her roommate.

Ivory Aquino (“Tales of the City,” “When We Rise”) has been cast in the HBO Max feature film “Batgirl” as Alysia Yeoh, the best friend of the titular superhero, a.k.a. Barbara Gordon (Leslie Grace).

Both Aquino and Yeoh are transgender, marking the first time a live-action feature film adaptation of a DC Comics title will feature an openly trans character. Yeoh first appeared in a 2011 issue of “Batgirl” written by Gail Simone and penciled by Ardian Syaf.

There have been several strides in broadening LGBTQ representation in superhero adaptations over the past few years, especially on television. The CW series “Supergirl” included the first trans superhero on TV in Dreamer (played by Nicole Maines) and the title superhero’s sister, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), came out as a lesbian on Season 2. The lead character on the CW’s “Batwoman” has always been a lesbian, whether played by Ruby Rose in Season 1 or Javicia Leslie on subsequent seasons. The animated DC series “Harley Quinn” ended its second season with Harley and Poison Ivy falling in love and the DC Films adaptation “Birds of Prey” included lesbian police detective Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez). In 2021, Marvel Studios’ Disney Plus series “Loki,” the title character (played by Tom Hiddleston) revealed he is pansexual and the feature film “Eternals” included the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first same-sex couple, played by Brian Tyree Henry and Haaz Sleiman.

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