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"DC Introduces First Transgender Character in..." Topic

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Areas of Interest


880 hits since 10 Apr 2013
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2013 12:53 p.m. PST

… Mainstream Comics.

"Once banned from the world of mainstream comic books by the infamous Comics Code Authority, LGBT characters now have a stronger presence in the world of superhero comics than ever before, with gay and lesbian heroes like Batwoman, Northstar and Green Lantern Alan Scott openly declaring who they are and even getting married. Today, DC Comics told Wired that it will continue to expand the LGBT diversity of its superhero universe by introducing the first openly transgender character in a mainstream superhero comic.

In Batgirl #19, on sale today in both print and digital formats, the character Alysia Yeoh will reveal that she is a transwoman in a conversation with her roommate, Barbara Gordon (aka Batgirl). Taking care to distinguish Yeoh's sexual orientation from her gender identity, Batgirl writer Gail Simone noted that the character is also bisexual.
Simone attributed the inspiration for the character to a conversation she had with fellow comic book writer Greg Rucka several years ago at the Wondercon convention, after a fan asked why there were fewer gay male superheroes than lesbian ones. Rucka, who co-created (and rebooted) Batwoman as a lesbian character, replied that it would be a real sign of change for a gay male character to appear on a comic book cover and an even bigger step for a transgender character to do the same.

"I looked out into the audience, saw dozens of faces I knew well LGBTQ folks, mostly all avid comics readers and superhero fans and DC supporters," said Simone. "And it just hit me: Why was this so impossible? Why in the world can we not do a better job of representation of not just humanity, but also our own loyal audience?…"
Full article here.


Dn Jackson10 Apr 2013 1:31 p.m. PST

"Taking care to distinguish Yeoh's sexual orientation from her gender identity, Batgirl writer Gail Simone noted that the character is also bisexual.'

..and loves the rainforest, and fights against breast cancer, and recycles, and doesn't discriminate, and…what's the cause d'jure?

Oddball10 Apr 2013 1:42 p.m. PST

Dn Jackson,

You sum it up.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2013 1:52 p.m. PST

We can add some new superpowers….

Streitax10 Apr 2013 2:20 p.m. PST

Anything to boost sales.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2013 2:36 p.m. PST

Sales to whom? Talk about your niche market…

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2013 2:45 p.m. PST


Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2013 2:56 p.m. PST

They still sell these things to children, don't they?

streetline10 Apr 2013 3:17 p.m. PST

I thought DC did this in comics such as Sandman, Invisibles etc 20 years ago. Not superhero I'll grant you, but hardly groundbreaking. Shame it's even news.



Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP10 Apr 2013 4:11 p.m. PST

I can think of at least three transgender characters I came across in comics before. Sasquatch was female for a while, there was a character in the Legion of Superheroes that used some kind of therapy to become female (though she was retconned into a genetic female later on) and Mantra, a male warrior reincarnated as a woman.

PzGeneral10 Apr 2013 4:15 p.m. PST


DesertScrb10 Apr 2013 6:54 p.m. PST

They still sell these things to children, don't they?

No, they sell them to collectors.

AndrewGPaul11 Apr 2013 3:13 a.m. PST

A quick Google search suggests that about 3.5% of US citizens are LGBT. Since I assume DC Comics have more than 30 characters in total, several of them should be L,G,B and/or T.

It depends on the writing; if it's just part of their character, and well-written, fair enough. If it's a big gimmick, then that's a bit sad.

Really, it's a bit sad that this is even news.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2013 4:36 a.m. PST

I thought DC did this in comics such as Sandman, Invisibles etc 20 years ago. Not superhero I'll grant you, but hardly groundbreaking.

Mentioned in the full news story BTW.

Company D Miniatures11 Apr 2013 7:35 a.m. PST

Consign to dustbin- infected by the PC brigade.

AndrewGPaul11 Apr 2013 2:12 p.m. PST

So, the mere mention of a transgender individual is enough to ruin it?

jpattern211 Apr 2013 5:42 p.m. PST

What Andrew said in his posts.

Man, I'd hate to be so frightened of transgendered individuals that their mere mention made me as uncomfortable as some of you seem.

Have any of you ever even *met* a transgendered individual? I have, and I've also participated in candle-light vigils on several Transgender Days of Remembrance, held on November 20th each year: link

One representative story that I read aloud during one vigil: Angie Zapata, killed at 18 just for being trans: ( link )

They still sell these things to children, don't they?
Yeah, because we certainly don't want our *children*, especially our *LGBTQ children*, finding out that there might be "people like that" out there, and they might even be gasp! normally functioning, positive contributors to society.

Thannks for posting this, Armand. I hope it opens some minds and hearts.

Lee Brilleaux Fezian11 Apr 2013 9:16 p.m. PST

This is really one of those Litmus Test issues, isn't it?

Some welcome it.

Some are appalled.

Me, I'm not a comics books fan, but I never cared for the idea that superheroes are often white male millionaires who work for the common good. That always seemed too fantastic for me to believe in.

Dn Jackson12 Apr 2013 8:21 a.m. PST

*LGBTQ children* – By definition there's no such thing as a LGBTQ bchild. Children have no sexual identity.

I on the other hand, despite being a short, fat, old, white guy, feel deep down that i am a tall, young, black, basketball player and I demand surgery to make me one.

jpattern212 Apr 2013 11:54 a.m. PST

By definition there's no such thing as an LGBTQ child. Children have no sexual identity.
That statement is factually incorrect on several levels.

First, anyone who hasn't reached their full growth or the age of maturity – late teens in most Western countries – is "by definition" a child. And since pretty much everyone has a sexual identity after they hit puberty, which is at least several years before the age of maturity, I'd say children most definitely DO have a sexual identity.

Second, LGBTQ is about attraction and gender identity, not just sex, although I understand that many people can't get past that. Speaking for myself, I knew I was heterosexual LONG before I was sexually active, so I'd say I had a sexual identity as a child, and I suspect you did, too.

Third, all children know by middle school whether they have boy or girl genitalia, what behavior is expected of boys and girls in their culture, and whether they feel like a boy or a girl on the inside. For a child who has boy genitalia but feels like a girl, or vice versa, that internal conflict is difficult enough to work through without judgmental adults, let alone kids his or her own age, making it worse.

Finally, the term transgender isn't synonymous with transsexual. It also encompasses transvestites, androgynes, bigenders, and other orientations.

Your second sentence doesn't really deserve comment, except to note that it demonstrates an insulting lack of respect for what transgender kids and adults go through.

Dn Jackson12 Apr 2013 12:54 p.m. PST

A child is a child, to twist the definition to the point you include any sort of sexual identity is, very disturbing. It's logic like that that leads to sex ed classes in kindergarten.

"Your second sentence doesn't really deserve comment, except to note that it demonstrates an insulting lack of respect for what transgender kids and adults go through."

Nope, it pretty much enscapulates the entire transgender argument. Because I 'feel' different society has to change the definition of normal and everyone has to treat me different. As for the comic, as soon as there's another fad, they'll switch to follow that one.

jpattern212 Apr 2013 1:47 p.m. PST

The vast majority of LGBTQ children and adults just want to be treated the same as everyone else, not different, not special. If you can't already see that, then I suspect that nothing I can say will open your eyes.

Atomic Floozy12 Apr 2013 2:51 p.m. PST

You are so very misinformed. Children do know about gender identity & most are comfortable with their gender. That is why it seems like a non-issue to you. There are some who have difficulty with their gender. Now, I'm not talking about boys liking boys, girls liking girls, or boys liking girls. Gender identity is much deeper of an issue than sexual attraction or sexual orientation. Almost all transgendered people know there is something amiss with their gender identity before they are 6.

Most of these young people do learn to align their gender identity with their physical gender & live quite happy lives. Some do not & only find peace of mind when they have changed their body to match their gender.

The problem is that it takes a long time, many years in most cases, to change gender. These folk still have to somehow function in society. It isn't as simple as just putting away your trousers & putting on a dress. That is why you read of transsexuals who have Silver & Bronze Stars & Purple Hearts. A surprising number of transsexuals are veterans. You also read of successful business people, professionals & artists who are transgendered. Because you try hard to live the role you think society wants you to live even though you don't really understand that role.

I don't know a single transsexual who wants to be treated "different." Which is crazy, because when one does change gender, one discovers how badly women are still treated in this day & age. Transsexual women want to be treated like "normal" women & transsexual men want to be treated like "normal" men.

But the point is, is that you may be misinformed on both counts. The comic book may be cashing in on a "fad", or may be it is just trying to say that a transgendered person should be able to tell another person that he or she is transgendered without fear of being beaten.

jpattern212 Apr 2013 7:18 p.m. PST

Thank you for that, Elaine.

Last Hussar18 Apr 2013 2:13 p.m. PST

If the US wasn't so hung up about sex would the writers feel the need to kick back?

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