Time to celebrate for LGBTQ+ comics fans as Ivory Aquino will star in Batgirl, reaching no less than two milestones in doing so. She will be the first openly Trans woman to star in a DC Comics film and she will play the role of the first Trans character to ever appear in a live-action title from the famous media franchise.
A Filipino-American actress, Aquino is already famous for her role as Trans activist Cecilia Chung in When We Rise, ABC’s mini-series on the history of LGBTQ+ rights advocacy in the US. It was during a press conference for the docu-series in 2017 that the actress decided to publicly come out as Trans.
— Ivory Aquino (@MsIvoryAquino) March 6, 2017
Aquino is also an outspoken activist for Trans rights herself and was a vocal critic of the Trump administration and the impact it had on Trans lives.
As for her role in Batgirl, she will play bartender Alysia Yeoh, the superhero’s best friend and flatmate. The character first appeared in a 2011 issue of Batgirl written by Gail Simone and illustrated by Ardian Syaf. At the time, this was also the very first major Trans character to be written into a mainstream comic book.
It seems that Ivory Aquino has been cast as Alysia Yeoh!! pic.twitter.com/eFBDATy81j
— Batgirlupdates (@batgirlupdates) January 18, 2022
The news that Ivory Aquino would be starring in Batgirl first leaked earlier in January when actress Leslie Grace, who plays the superhero herself, shared a photo of the set on her Instagram stories, tagging Aquino and writing their characters’ names as a caption.
Aquino’s casting seems to be part of a broader move towards increased LGBTQ+ representation in superhero adaptations. Recently, the first Trans superhero to ever appear on TV was included in the CW series Supergirl. Moreover, Marvel’s Eternals featured the first major LGBTQ+ superhero to ever appear in a major Hollywood franchise.
“I use their expectations against them. That will be their weakness. Not mine. Let them all underestimate me…
And when their guard is down, and their pride is rising, let me kick their butts.”
– Batgirl, Year One
— Leslie Grace (@lesliegrace) January 15, 2022
Although there are no specifics regarding the film’s plot, we know that the story will centre around Barbara Gordon, Batgirl’s alias and daughter of the famous Gotham police commissioner, Jim Gordon. For DC LGBTQ+ fans, this film is an occasion to finally witness some Trans representation alongside some of the characters that they love.
Batgirl is set to be released on the streaming platform HBO Max in 2022, although no official date has been set yet.
© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.