After DC rebooted its franchise in 2011 in an attempt to reconcile its decades of loose character arcs and confusing back histories, Batgirl’s alter ego (Barbara Gordon) moved out of her father’s home (Batman’s Commissioner James Gordon) and moved in with a roommate named Alysia Yeoh.
Yeoh was presented as an Occupy Wall Street-styled female activist, bartender and fine artist. She was of Singaporean descent and sported an undisclosed secret. This month’s issue reveals that secret. In a face-to-face discussion, Barbara Gordon and her roommate have a serious chat in which roommate Yeoh reveals that she is really a he and bisexual as well.
So, Batgirl number 19 marks the debut as the very first “real-world” transgendered character in all of mainstream comics. By “Real-world” that means a character that is merely transgendered in the “real-world” sense, not changed via some sort of superhero-styled transformation.
Over the last few years, the LGBTQ community has been favored with a plethora of gay characters in mainstream comics, of course. There are also a whole raft of gay and transgendered characters in comics from smaller, independent comics publishers as well as adult-oriented titles. But this marks as the first transgendered character to come to mainstream superhero comics.
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