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#1 Posted by umbrafeline (5300 posts) - - Show Bio

Readers found out in this week's issue of Batgirl that Barbara Gordon has a roommate named Alysia who is transgender. And according to a DC Comics statement to Wired, it's the "first openly transgender character in a mainstream superhero comic."

According to Batgirl writer Gail Simone's statements to Wired, several characters have achieved gender-fluidity through fantastical means like magic, shape-shifting, brain-swapping, and cloning. “Those characters exist [and] that’s great, but I wanted to have trans characters who aren’t fantasy-based. And I feel like there’s a lot there yet to do," she said.

While DC refers to her as the first transgender character, Newsarama pointed out in November 2012 that the heroic DC character Shining Knight was outed as transgender in Demon Knights #14.

However, the Demon Knights issue was published without any fanfare about the character's admission of being transgender. In fact, the hero's "outing" was so accepted and unremarkable to comic book fans that the issue's writer Paul Cornell stated, "It's great that a DC character can come out as transgender and it not excite much comment. Very refreshing."

In fact, DC Comics' history with transgender characters goes much farther back, to July 1992's Legion of Super-Heroes vol 4 #31. In that issue, Shvaugn Erin, the one-time Science Police liason to the Legion reveals that she was born male and takes a drug to appear female, which is how she identifies. Her ex-boyfriend Element Lad is very understanding and accepting of her, even as he watches the drug wear off and sees her physical form revert to male. The issue was co-written by Keith Giffen and Tom & Mary Bierbaum.

Nonetheless, Simone's addition of a transgender character to Batgirl is the latest in a growing list of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender characters in comic books. Most notable recently were the additions of a gay Green Lantern in Earth-2 and the marriage of Northstar and his partner in Astonishing X-Men, which both received significant mainstream media attention. The announcement of Batgirl's transgender character has also prompted DC to point out some mainstream coverage for Batgirl.

Simone said she feels like comics "have a ways to go" to incorporate enough diversity. "There’ve been some wonderful steps forward lately, even in mainstream comics like Batwoman and Runaways, all of whom have LGBTQ characters in starring roles. But it wasn’t that long ago that any mention of sexuality was outright forbidden in mainstream comics at all.

"We have some catching up to do," she said. "But there’s a large LGBTQ readership in comics, the audience is hugely diverse. It’s wonderful. Our common language is nerdhood. I love that. We may come from different continents, but dammit, we can recite the Green Lantern Oath! It’s pretty great to see LGBTQ characters being accepted widely, it shows that this stuff is way, way overdue."

#2 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6516 posts) - - Show Bio

That's good. :)

#4 Posted by Regal_Rumble_Man (874 posts) - - Show Bio

Really? I thought they had hirs before

#5 Edited by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

this is cool

I wish Marvel would have some transgender characters (I do like Hulkling and Wiccan though)

#6 Posted by MrMiracle77 (1659 posts) - - Show Bio

When we finally run out of all the different people-types, can we finally get back to good plot?

#7 Edited by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

interesting. Id like to see a story of someoen trying to change genders by mystical/sci fi means and being sucessful but then getting super powers. that'd be a cool origin story for a trxgend character

#8 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@mrmiracle77: SNAP!!

what did you think of Sandman?

@jorgevy: I don't know about that, seems like it'd be hard to do with grace and respect

#9 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio


@jorgevy: I don't know about that, seems like it'd be hard to do with grace and respect

that's the thing; just do it like you'd do anything else. respect comes from equal practices

#10 Posted by Bruxae (14008 posts) - - Show Bio

I dunno guys, id have to see some meat before believing this.

#11 Edited by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@bruxae: heh

@jorgevy: yeah, but if the character uses a magic spell to change gender, isn't that kind of saying that people who get surgery or whateevr aren't really the other gender?

I mean, I geuss if it was in a fantasy setting it could work, because like, that woud be the pnly option available

#12 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@betatesthighlander1: oh, I wasn't suggesting spells. More like a mystical or sci fi operation or proceedure. like a mystical/supernatural/sci fi analogy to real word transgender processes

#13 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: so it'd be like, really expensive?

and you could never be sure how well it would turn out?

amyways, you've gotten my interests now, please elaborate on the idea

#14 Posted by The Stegman (25476 posts) - - Show Bio

Pfft, this just proves Batgirl is the worse detective in the Bat family. She lived with the girl for an extended time and couldn't figure it out, Bruce would have been like "Yup, dude looks like a lady" upon the first handshake.

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#15 Edited by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@betatesthighlander1 said:

@jorgevy: so it'd be like, really expensive?

and you could never be sure how well it would turn out?

amyways, you've gotten my interests now, please elaborate on the idea

like imagine this person, male or female, who wants to change sex. but he/she has a weird condition that makes an usual regular process of changing genders almost impossible to do (she/he could die and/or not work at all and be permanently scarred).

desperate, he/she tries to find a way to have the gender he/she feels he/she is naturally and seeks supernatural help. then you had some hocus pocus, garlic, dragon's bones, magic leaves and voilá, you got a potion that she/he must take before the proceedure. then you have some alien tech, some magical implants bla blah blah, and BAM! everything works fine, perfect...... until a few weeks later the character now in his/her new gender and happily ever after starts getting weird powers and must deal with this. also for some reason people associated with the supernatural person that help he/she come after him/her.

I donno, could work

PS: and obviously it would also deal with the character's new life as in, how would the friends and family react about this change, how would the character struggle with that etc...

#16 Posted by The_Tree (7859 posts) - - Show Bio

BFD.

#17 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: I'd read it

would there be villians with similiar powers.origins? or maybe transphhobic villains? or maybe like, the originalgender half split off and represents personal deamons.uncertainsiees/the parts left behind?

I mean, I think you ahve a real Idea going there

#18 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: I'd read it

would there be villians with similiar powers.origins? or maybe transphhobic villains? or maybe like, the originalgender half split off and represents personal deamons.uncertainsiees/the parts left behind?

I mean, I think you ahve a real Idea going there

not sure about that, but Id totally dig some transphobic super villains! eheheh that would be cool. Maybe have a similar character that accidently changes genders and regrets it and finds comfort with our character, and became friends and partners in crime fighting

#19 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: would there be romance in this story?

like, a love triangle, or some larger shape filled with people attracted to people who could not possibly be attracted to them?

#20 Posted by Akindoodle (1032 posts) - - Show Bio

Pfft, this just proves Batgirl is the worse detective in the Bat family. She lived with the girl for an extended time and couldn't figure it out, Bruce would have been like "Yup, dude looks like a lady" upon the first handshake.

Precisely why I miss Oracle so much. She would have literally googled/vetted her the moment they met

@jorgevy: That's a sound idea you have there.

#21 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@akindoodle: aha thank ypu very much! it just came out with this thread!

@betatesthighlander1:yeah every story needs romance. not exactly sure what it would happen thought, that would need a bit more of thought.

I think that it would also be cool if the character's real identity was a lawyer or an activist for equal rights, I donno, that might seem like a bit too much of preaching, but it was an idea....

#22 Edited by TheCowman (461 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice, but I wish they could've done it in a better way than the cliche front-facing close-up with "I'm [insert minority here]".

It just never seems genuine when its done like that.

Still, always nice to see more diversity in the comic book world. I always thought a Shazam style superhero where the secret identity was male but the superhero identity was female would be pretty interesting.

#23 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio
#24 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@betatesthighlander1: I wasnt thinking about praising him(herself, more like fighting for someonelse's rights, not necessarily transgender rights.

#25 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: I don;t know about the whole loawyer angle, i feel like it would be more natural if the character was like, an office worker, or something else tha has nothing to do with gender

if you are gonna do the lawyer angle, did the character become a lawyer foirst or a transexual first?

#26 Edited by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool.

#27 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: I don;t know about the whole loawyer angle, i feel like it would be more natural if the character was like, an office worker, or something else tha has nothing to do with gender

if you are gonna do the lawyer angle, did the character become a lawyer foirst or a transexual first?

doesnt need to be a lawyer or anything, could be a reporter or something, just it would be a bit of an activist and try to fight against injustices and prejudice, not exactly as it's job. I was actually thinking the character shouldn't be old enough to have a job

#28 Edited by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: are you picturing the character as adolescent?

#29 Edited by TheCowman (461 posts) - - Show Bio
#30 Posted by Dabee (2399 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice... I like diversity. I seem to remember that not a month ago, someone had a thread about the lack of a transgender character. It's nice to see it come true.

#31 Posted by Stormbox (2001 posts) - - Show Bio
#32 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio
#33 Posted by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: are you picturing the character as adolescent?

maybe. like an young adult college age? or maybe a junior or senior in HS

#34 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: high school senior seems yooung for someone who has already tried and failed so many times for ex change

#35 Edited by Jorgevy (5114 posts) - - Show Bio

@jorgevy: high school senior seems yooung for someone who has already tried and failed so many times for ex change

depending on the country I guess.... so maybe college would be better fitting

#36 Posted by Betatesthighlander1 (7462 posts) - - Show Bio
#37 Posted by Charetter115 (475 posts) - - Show Bio

Would this character be male or female at first? I think starting as female and going to male would be much less anticipated, since usually transgender is the other way around.

#38 Posted by umbrafeline (5300 posts) - - Show Bio

what about drag queen/king heros/villains with powers?

#39 Posted by Vance Astro (91352 posts) - - Show Bio

Here's an idea. Make the Joker transgender.

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#40 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio
#41 Edited by TheVoiceOfReason (747 posts) - - Show Bio

Not that I'm against this but whats the point. Same thing with Alan Scott what was the point of making him gay.

#42 Posted by Vance Astro (91352 posts) - - Show Bio

@thevoiceofreason said:

Not that I'm against this but whats the point. Same thing with Alan Scott what was the point of making him gay.

Marvel and DC are having a "gayest publisher" competition. That's the point.

Moderator
#43 Edited by Ellie_Knightfall (4820 posts) - - Show Bio

Good for them.

#44 Edited by captainsaul (140 posts) - - Show Bio

The comic companies are just throwing in different minorities into comics having no back plot to how the development of the character had panned out in previous issues. Green Lantern a hero who everyone was comfortable with just out of the blue was gay. We had no big lead up just him kissing a boy after getting off a plane. I think they should include different minorities to make the world a more understanding place, but please have a decent plot behind the characters. The stereotypes of gays, blacks and minorities just ruin the stories.

#45 Edited by judasnixon (6930 posts) - - Show Bio

DC had a Transgender character like 20 years ago......

#46 Edited by Reignmaker (2235 posts) - - Show Bio

Don't love it, but I'm ok with it.

#47 Posted by ccraft (5490 posts) - - Show Bio

@thevoiceofreason said:

Not that I'm against this but whats the point. Same thing with Alan Scott what was the point of making him gay.

Marvel and DC are having a "gayest publisher" competition. That's the point.

lol thats what it seems like.

#48 Edited by fodigg (6148 posts) - - Show Bio

The way Sir Ystin explained his gender was so awkward and convoluted that I thought he was saying he's a hermaphrodite. I think the point of the Wired article is that this is explicitly stated, non-fantastical, and in a major title (of the main imprint) at a major publisher. That's relatively unique if not a first. My only problem is it is that it seems to come out of left field, but hey, maybe that's how these things go.

#49 Edited by fodigg (6148 posts) - - Show Bio

@vance_astro said:

@thevoiceofreason said:

Not that I'm against this but whats the point. Same thing with Alan Scott what was the point of making him gay.

Marvel and DC are having a "gayest publisher" competition. That's the point.

You know, Trans, Cis, and genderqueer states have to do with how you see yourself, not your orientation to others. A trans individual could still be straight, gay, bisexual, or nonsexual. In fact, this new character is explicitly said to be both "trans" and "bisexual" to point out the difference.

I understand that you probably just meant "gay" as a catch-all for LGBT, but I figured it should be pointed out.

#50 Edited by Stormbox (2001 posts) - - Show Bio

@captainsaul said:

Green Lantern a hero who everyone was comfortable with just out of the blue was gay. We had no big lead up just him kissing a boy after getting off a plane.

Well he was revealed as gay in his first appearance, i dont think theres much time to develop that. Plus im not reading earth 2 but i think its more of a team book so they had to devote some time to flash, hawkgirl and the others in addition to alan