Filipino-American Actress Ivory Aquino Is Cast as the DCEU's First Trans Character
Diversity is important in the DC Extended Universe, and it's making another big step by casting Filipino-American actress Ivory Aquino as the first trans character to appear in a DC live-action film. Aquino will be playing Alysia Yeoh, the best friend of Barbara Gordon’s iteration of Batgirl in the upcoming HBO Max/Go film.
Batgirl, the movie, will follow Gordon (Leslie Grace) as she takes on the mantle of Batgirl, guided by her father James Gordon (J.K. Simmons), the police commissioner of Gotham City; Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) who moonlights as Batman; and Barbara’s best friend and roommate Alysia Yeoh.
Yeoh is trans in the Batgirl DC comics, just as Aquino also is in real life. The Manila-born actress is a staunch supporter of transgender rights and is best known for her role as transgender activist Cecilia Chung in the docudrama When We Rise. She also appeared as Trixie in the critically-acclaimed 2019 film Lingua Franca, which was written and directed by Filipino filmmaker Isabel Sandoval.
Yeoh will be the DC Extended Universe’s first trans character in a feature film, but we shouldn’t forget Nicole Maines, who played human hybrid Nia Nal in Supergirl. She was the first trans character in the DC’s Arrowverse, but since the Arrowverse is considered separate from the DCEU (which includes Justice League and Shazam), the title of the first trans character in a DCEU feature film still goes to Ivory Aquino as Alysia Yeoh.
Batgirl will be directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. The movie is still in production and is scheduled to be released sometime in 2022 on HBO Max/Go.