Skip to main content

How Batgirl Is Taking A Huge Step In LGBTQ+ Representation

Leslie Grace in Batgirl suit
(Image credit: DC)

Between the pages of DC Comics, there’s been strides in the representation of characters that hail from the LGBTQ+ community in recent years. Between Tim Drake’s Robin, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy’s fan-favorite relationship or Jonathan Kent (a.k.a. the new Superman), there’s a number of great examples of the queer community finding a place in the superhero world. Now we’ve learned one especially exciting upcoming DC movie, Batgirl, will make for a major step forward in representation within the DC film space. 

After set photos brought about the rumor that Barbara Gordon’s best friend Alysia Yeoh could be joining Batgirl, it was made official this week. Deadline has reported that transgender actor Ivory Aquino has joined the film as Alysia, who is openly trans in the comic books. The role marks the first time a live-action DC Comics movie will provide a platform for a trans character. 

Alysia Yeoh was written by Gail Simone into the Batgirl comics in 2011 when Barbara Gordon was relaunched for the New 52 reboot. The character became Barbara’s roommate when she decided to move out of the home of her father (who is Commissioner James Gordon), and Alysia is a roommate she finds on “Greg’s List.” They become close friends, and after Barbara confides in her secret identity, Alysia later shares with her that she is transgender.

Alysia Yeoh in Batgirl comics, coming out as transgender

(Image credit: DC Comics)

Last week, Leslie Grace actually shared the news of Ivory Aquino’s casting on her Instagram story through a photo of the pair together with the caption “Barbara and Alysia” along with tagging the actress in the post. The Filipina-American actress is best known for portraying transgender activist Cecilia Chung in the miniseries When We Rise. Aquino also found guest roles in New Amsterdam, FBI: Most Wanted and Blue Bloods

The Batgirl movie is currently in production in Glasglow after getting started late last year. So far, we’ve seen a first look at In The HeightsLeslie Grace in costume as Batgirl and learned of some other exciting casting news. The movie being directed by Bad Boys For Life filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah will also include more of the return of Michael Keaton as Batman, Brendan Fraser as Firefly and J.K. Simmons back as Commissioner Gordon. 

It’s exciting to see DC include an openly trans actor and character into such a high-profile project. It’s a great start for the expansion of representation in superhero movies. Though it should be noted that Batgirl is being made for HBO Max rather than the big screen, so we’ll have yet to see this kind of LGBTQ+ representation in a theatrical release. 

You can get caught up with what else we know about Batgirl here on CinemaBlend, and stay tuned for the movie’s release sometime this year. 

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.