‘Batgirl’ Casts Trans Actress as First Trans Character in DC Comics Live Action Film

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Ivory Aquino - Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Ivory Aquino - Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Ivory Aquino has been cast to portray Alysia Yeoh, the roommate and best friend of the titular superhero also known as Barbara Gordon, in upcoming HBO Max film Batgirl, as Variety reports.

Aquino’s character first appeared in a DC Batgirl issue by Gail Simone and artist Ardian Syaf in 2011. She will star opposite Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon. Both Aquino and Yeoh are transgender. This is the first time a live-action film adaptation of a DC Comics movie will feature an openly trans character.

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In 2017, the Filipina actress portrayed transgender activist Cecilia Chung in the ABC miniseries, When We Rise.

While Aquino is the first trans actress to star as an openly trans character in a DC feature film, the DC TV series Supergirl, which aired on the CW, also featured a trans character. Trans actress Nicole Maines played superhero Nia Nal in that show’s fourth season, marking the first appearances of a trans superhero role on television.

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah are set to direct Batgirl, which will also star J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, Jacob Scipio, and Michael Keaton, who is reprising his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

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