DC Comics will introduce its first transgender character in a mainstream superhero comic in Batgirl #19, which goes on sale today.
Transgender characters have appeared in indy comics and mature readers titles for Marvel and DC, but this is the first mainstream comic to step into this territory.
In the comic, Alysia Yeoh tells her roommate Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) that she is transgender. Batgirl writer Gail Simone says that Yeoh is also bisexual, reports Wired.
Simone told Wired that she got the idea at last year's Wondercon comic book convention in San Francisco. She suggested it to DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio: ”I thought I might have to sell it, so to speak. But he just paused for a moment, asked how this would affect Barbara’s story, and immediately approved it.”
"She was created as a trans character, she’s hinted at a part of her life she hadn’t yet shared with her roomie, Barbara Gordon, since issue early in the series. But they’ve had emergency after emergency, and this is the first chance for her to actually tell Barbara," Simone told New Now Next.
Simone explained to Wired that Yeoh will be “a character, not a public service announcement … being trans is just part of her story. If someone loved her before, and doesn’t love her after, well — that’s a shame, but we can’t let that kind of thinking keep comics in the 1950s forever.”
“I’m sure it’s controversial on some level to some people, but honest to God, I just could not care less about that. If someone gets upset, so be it. There are a thousand other comics out there for those people.”