New images and video from the set of the forthcoming “Batgirl” film appear to show that Alysia Yeoh, DC Comics’ first major trans character, will be making the jump to the big screen.
Multiple social media accounts following the film’s production shared images from the set showing actress Leslie Grace, who portrays Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl), and trans actress Ivory Aquino shooting scenes together. Aquino is identified in the updates as playing Yeoh in the film, though the production is yet to officially announce what role Aquino is playing in the film.
Further adding to the speculation about Aquino taking on the role of Yeoh was a casting call from Warner Bros looking for “a mid-to-late 20s Asian-American trans woman.” Grace herself appeared to provide some clarity as questions emerged. The “In The Heights” star released an image featuring herself and Aquino captioned “Barbara and Alysia” on Instagram.
Batgirl’s Historic Bestie
If Aquino is portraying Yeoh in the film, it would mark the first appearance for an out trans character in the DC Extended Universe. Previous films in the franchise featured out LGBTQ characters, including Harley Quinn and King Shark, and the collection of TV shows based on DC Comics characters, known by fans as the Arrowverse, introduced its first trans character in 2018 when Nia Nal was introduced on “Supergirl,” portrayed by trans actress Nicole Maines.
Yeoh herself was a huge shift in trans representation in comics when she was introduced to fans as Barbara Gordon’s roommate in 2011. Created by Gail Simone, Yeoh holds an important place both because of her identity and how her portrayal ditched dehumanizing tropes and ambiguity that plagued previous trans characters such as Marvel’s Jessie Drake. She even got her own big gay wedding in the pages of “Batgirl,” with her crime-fighting bestie being her maid of honor.
As “Batgirl” continues production, Aquino’s presence is sure to continue building excitement ahead of the film’s scheduled release in 2022.
Batgirl: Previously on Towleroad
Image courtesy of DC Comics