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DC introduces first transgender character in mainstream comics

books Updated: Apr 11, 2013 02:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The world of superheroes just became a little more contemporary with one of DC comics characters coming out as transgender in a Batgirl issue on sale from Wednesday.

Alysia Yeoh, a character in the book, tells her roommate Barbara Gordon, Batgirl’s alter-ego, that she is transgender. But series writer Gail Simone told Wired magazine that Yeoh is bisexual, and not gay.

DC comics has been changing story-lines and revamping characters since a “soft reboot” of the entire line up starting in 2011 in what is called New 52.

DC comics’s first lesbian character was Batwoman, outed in 2006 as “lesbian socialite by night and a crime-fighter in the night”. Her alter-ego Katherine “Kate” Kane debuted in 1956 as Batman’s love interest.

“We have been waiting to unlock her,” writer Greg Rucka had then said, adding, “Yes, she’s a lesbian. She’s also a redhead. It is an element of her character. It is not her character.”

The first gay superhero took another six years coming. In 2012, Alan Scott, formerly married father of two sons, came out. He is also known as Green Lantern, a DC staple of 70 years.

The world of comic books has been indeed changing. Marvel outed Canadian superhero Northstar as gay in 1996, and hosted its first gay marriage in 2012.

The same year Archie comics had its first same-sex wedding.