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Is Filipina Ivory Aquino playing DC's first trans character in the upcoming 'Batgirl'?

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 24, 2022 3:25 pm

It looks like a Filipina will be joining the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

Leaked photos from the set of the upcoming Batgirl and an IG story from star Leslie Grace indicate that Fil-Am actress Ivory Aquino is starring as Alysia Yeoh, making her the first trans character in a blockbuster superhero movie.

On Instagram, Grace shared a photo of her holding hands with the Filipina actress with the caption "Barbara and Alysia ??," in reference to the names of their characters. She even tagged Aquino in these stories, making the casting highly likely.

Set photos posted by @BatgirlFilm on Twitter showed more images of the Filipina with the In the Heights actress in Glasgow this January.

This account also teased the potential appearances of Brendan Frasier, Jacob Scipio, and Micheal Keaton in the upcoming film.

Yeoh, the first trans character in a mainstream comic, is Barbara Gordon's (a.k.a. Batgirl) roommate and best friend who first appeared in Gail Simone's Batgirl Vol 4 #1 in 2011.

Aquino's DCEU debut, however, isn't the first time a trans character has appeared in a live-action DC adaptation. In 2016, the CW's Supergirl TV series featured its first trans superhero on TV, Nia Nal, portrayed by Nicole Maines.

Batgirl is directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, and written by Christina Hodson. It's set to premiere exclusively on HBO Max in 2022.

Meet Ivory

In an interview with PEOPLE, the Philippine-born and raised actress, who is the niece of former president Cory Aquino, said she first realized she was trans at the age of five.

In her teens, she secretly began hormone therapy and moved to the United States where she studied at the Berklee College of Music.

Aquino rose to fame when she starred as trans activist Cecilia Chung in the 2017 docudrama When We Rise, and publicly came out as trans while doing press conferences for the series.

She has also appeared in other TV series, including When They See Us, Tales of the City, FBI: Most Wanted, and Blue Bloods.