Ivory Aquino has been cast as the first transgender character in a live-action feature film adaptation of a DC Comics title in Batgirl. And it’s huge news.
Seriously, we’ve been begging for representation for years. Why? Because we want the media we consume to reflect the world that we live in and that’s not going to stop anytime soon until all are seen. That world includes transgender people, whether haters like it or not. But they don’t matter at this point because we’re here to celebrate Aquino.
She’s set to play Alysia Yeoh, best friend of Leslie Grace’s Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl. That means that she’s not just going to be a footnote. She’s going to be a fully-fledged character that Barbara will see on the daily and depend on when things get hard for this new superhero. Yes, she might end up as the sidekick, but she’s there and fully present during important comic book events.
But what about Nicole Maines Dreamer from The CW’s Supergirl? She matters. And having another transgender character in a DC property does not erase Dreamer. It adds to the representation that the transgender community deserves. And yes, we said “deserves.” Because every single person on this planet deserves to see themselves, their experience, and their loved ones in the content they love.
Too often LGBTQ+ are put into this box where people think studios are just checking a box. And sure, some are, but LGBTQ+ people are reading the comics, watching the shows, and just dreaming of the moment where they can see someone like them on screen. Aquino is that opportunity and that’s why her casting matters so much and why we should continue celebrating the diversification of people’s experiences.
So, welcome Ivory Aquino. We can’t wait to see what you bring to the table as Alysia Yeoh and the doors you open for more representation.
Batgirl is set to be released in 2022.