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Transgender woman to portray transgender best friend of Batgirl in live-action movie. 'What a stunning, brave triumph!' one observer quips.

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Ivory Aquino (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

A transgender woman has been cast to portray the transgender best friend of Batgirl in the HBO Max movie of the same name — and it will be the first time an openly transgender character makes an appearance in a live-action movie adaptation of a DC Comics title, Variety reported.

What are the details?

Ivory Aquino of “Tales of the City” and “When We Rise” will play Alysia Yeoh in the “Batgirl” movie, the magazine said.

The Yeoh character first appeared in a 2011 issue of “Batgirl” written by Gail Simone and drawn by Ardian Syaf, Variety said, adding that the movie also stars Leslie Grace as Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, J.K. Simmons as Gotham City police commissioner Jim Gordon, Michael Keaton — reprising his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne — and Brendan Fraser as the unspecified main villain.

Aquino previously starred in cisgender female roles before publicly coming out as a transgender woman during a promotional tour for "When We Rise," in which she portrayed transgender activist Cecilia Chung, according to Seventeen.

Variety noted that there have been "several strides in broadening LGBTQ+ representation in superhero adaptations over the past few years, especially on television," mentioning that the CW series “Supergirl” included the first trans superhero on TV in "Dreamer," and the superhero’s sister came out as a lesbian during Season 2. Variety added that the CW’s “Batwoman” character "has always been a lesbian" and that the animated DC series “Harley Quinn” ended its second season with Harley and Poison Ivy falling in love. In addition, the magazine said the title character in the 2021 Marvel Studios’ Disney Plus series “Loki" revealed he is pansexual, and the movie “Eternals” included the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first same-sex couple.

What was the reaction?

Not everyone commenting on Variety's story about a transgender woman portraying the transgender Yeoh character in "Batgirl" was thrilled:

  • "Stunning AND brave!" one commenter replied sarcastically. "It’s going to be SO successful, and what’s even better is that when it’s not, then we can call people bigots and biased! What a stunning, brave triumph! 'It’s time we talked about trans-Batgirl!'"
  • "Creepy," another commenter offered. "For this idea to even enter into a person's thought process shows a mental defect. Every single one of these woke movies bombs at the box office yet they still keep pumping them out. Very odd."
  • "They ruined Supergirl with this, so why not Batgirl," another commenter stated.
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