DC Comics, who introduced openly gay and lesbian superheroes last year, has taken lgbt inclusion a step further with their first ever transgender character.
Alysia Yeoh is the roommate of Batgirl Barbara Gordon in DC’s relaunched Batgirl series. In the newly-released Batgirl #19, Alysia – who is also bisexual – comes out to Barbara as a transgender woman.
Over the past year DC has presented several gay and lesbian characters including
Batwoman, Northstar and Green Lantern Alan Scott.
“I looked out into the audience (at the Wondercon Convention), saw dozens of faces I knew well — LGBTQ folks, mostly — all avid comics readers and superhero fans and DC supporters,” writer Gail Simone told Wired magazine. “And it just hit me: Why was this so impossible? Why in the world can we not do a better job of representation of not just humanity, but also our own loyal audience?”
She went on to state, “Look, we have a problem most media don’t have, which is that almost all the tentpoles we build our industry upon were created over a half century ago… at a time where the characters were almost without exception white, cis-gendered, straight, on and on. It’s fine — it’s great that people love those characters. But if we only build around them, then we look like an episode ofThe Andy Griffith Show for all eternity.”
Simone wanted to have “trans characters who aren’t fantasy-based,” noting that Alysia will be a “a character, not a public service announcement… being trans is just part of her story.”
Simone hints that she’s working on a transgender character for another comic and would like to see a trans character take center stage. “It’s time for a trans hero in a mainstream comic.”
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