Batgirl reveals the first transgender character in mainstream comics

2 Posted by - April 17, 2013 - Blog, Visual art, Word

In Batgirl #19, the heroine’s alter ego, Barbara Gordon, sits on her living room sofa, engaged in an deeply personal conversation with her roommate Alysia Yeoh. At the end of the page, Alysia reveals to Barbara that she is a trans woman, marking a major milestone in the history of mainstream comics.

According to Wired, Batgirl writer Gail Simone found inspiration for the character after a fan asked why lesbian superheroes outnumber their gay male counterparts.

“I looked out into the audience, saw dozens of faces I knew well — LGBTQ folks, mostly — all avid comics readers and superhero fans and DC supporters,” said Simone. “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?”

With regards to LGBTQ issues, it’s been an eventful year so far in the DC universe, both on and off the page: Batwoman proposed to her girlfriend, police detective Maggie Sawyer, and DC hired infamous homophobe Orson Scott Card to write an upcoming Superman storyline before coming to their senses and sending him packing.

Batgirl #19
Batgirl #19

Images: interior page of Batgirl #19, written by Gail Simone, with art by Daniel Sampere and Vicente Cifuentes.

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