The casting of the splashy small-screen adaptation of Batgirl has just broken some new ground for the DC universe. Per Deadline, Ivory Aquino (of the landmark LGBTQ Dustin Lance Black miniseries When We Rise) has joined the cast to play Alysia Yeoh, the best friend to Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl) who will be portrayed by Leslie Grace. The casting of Auquino breaks another glass ceiling for DC Comics, with Aquino playing the first openly trans character in a live-action DC movie, with Aquino on board as the main character’s bartender/best friend.
This is not the first time Auquino got to pay a groundbreaking trans role. In the landmark series When We Rise, she portrayed transgender activist Cecilia Chung, who is a groundbreaking advocate in her own right. Chung was the first woman and the first Asian to be elected to lead the Board of Directors of the San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration, but she also is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS among other lofty accomplishments. Her story served as one of the tentpole storylines in the When We Rise mini-series of 2017, which told the story of LGBTQ rights advocacy in the 1970’s and 80’s.
The casting of Aquino is the latest news to come out of the star-studded and exciting casting for Batgirl. With Leslie Grace already on board to play Barbara Gordon/Batgirl, Aquino is joining Grace and a star-studded cast that includes Brendan Fraser in the role of the villainous Firefly (shots of his costume as the villain can be seen here) and Michael Keaton returning to the role of Batman. Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons will be playing Commissioner Jim Gordon, the father of Barbara Gordon. Batgirl is currently filming, with a premiere date on HBO Max to be announced.
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