‘Batgirl’ Comic Makes History With First Transgender Wedding in Mainstream Comics
Today marks a significant day for comic books, especially for DC Comics. The latest issue (#48) of their iconic Batgirl series is making history with the first transgender wedding in the history of mainstream comics, MTV reports.
While Batgirl herself is not one of the parties getting married in the issue, she'll nonetheless be part of one of the greatest bridal parties in graphic/serialized fiction.
The history-making nuptials feature Alysia Yeoh, Batgirl's (Barbara Gordon's) best friend, former roommate, and an openly transgender woman. While Alysia is not the first transgender character in comics, as writer Gail Simone pointed out, she was and still is "heralded as the first civilian transgender character in a mainstream superhero comic series," according to MTV, when she came out to Babs back in 2013.
Alysia's relationship with her activist friend Jo began shortly before a new creative team took over the series in 2014. Brendan Fletcher, who now co-writes the series with Cameron Stewart, spoke to MTV News and expressed his previous doubts about whether the wedding would actually ever happen. "This was something we talked about when we took the book over," he states, but he and his team "didn't know if we were ever going to get a chance to play it out, because we had so much heavy lifting to do in our first arc that there wasn't room to play up this plot."
But Fletcher and his team clearly found an opening in the series' story arc, as Alysia and Jo are officially tying the knot today.
This wedding is an incredible step forward for DC Comics, who received immense public backlash after they cancelled a lesbian wedding in the Batwoman series back in 2013. Fans rightly saw through the company's official explanation that they canned the wedding based on their belief that "heroes shouldn't have happy personal lives," according to Hollywood Reporter.
DC Comics has taken that backlash to heart, however, and has since been making a more concerted effort for greater and better representations of LGBT characters within many of its series. Catwoman is what MTV refers to as "canonically bisexual" in her respective series, and Midnighter, who was previously married to a man in 2002, now has his own solo series.
But DC Comics isn't the only comic company making strides in LGBT representation. Last spring, Marvel made waves after their announcement that Iceman from the X-Men series was gay—sadly, twunky (twink + hunky) actor Shawn Ashmore will not portray him in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse movie.
With a growing cast of LGBT characters, it's comforting to know the fictional worlds of superheroes aren't as small as they once seemed.
Head over to MTV to check out additional shots from inside the new issue!