History has just been made in the DC Comics cinematic universe. Ivory Aquino, a Filipino-American trans woman, was recently cast as a supporting character in the upcoming Batgirl feature film!
Ivory is set to portray Alysia Yeoh, the best friend and roommate of Barbara Gordon, a.k.a Batgirl herself, who will then be played by In The Heights actress Leslie Grace. Other Hollywood stars tapped to appear in the movie include J.K. Simmons, Brendan Fraser, and Michael Keaton. Alysia marks the first time an openly trans character is depicted in a DC Comics production.
Such a monumental role has been a long time coming for Ivory. Having moved to the States as a teenager, the actress earned her degree at the Berklee College of Music (where she graduated summa cum laude, no less) and started her career performing in small theater houses. Her first big break came in 2017 when she played LGBTQIA+ rights activist Cecilia Chung in the documentary series When We Rise.
Since coming out in 2017, Ivory has been a staunch advocate for the rights of her community and has expressed that she aims to "put a face" to it through her work.
Oh, and in case the thought crossed your mind, yes, she is related to Kris Aquino! In an Instagram post, she writes to her lolo, Servillano "Mianong" Aquino, who was a general in the Philippine-American war. Lolo Mianong is also the great-grandfather of Kris, making them cousins!
Later this year, we'll be able to see the trailblazer bring Alysia to life on HBO Max. Congrats on the role, Ivory!
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