New Batwoman star Javicia Leslie ‘can’t wait’ to see trans superheroes on screen

Javicia Leslie as Batwoman

Batwoman star Javicia Leslie has delivered a powerful rallying cry for diversity on screen, saying she wants to see more trans superheroes in the spotlight.

The actor, who made her debut Sunday (17 January) as new Batwoman Ryan Wilder in the show’s second season opener after Ruby Rose quit her role as Kate Kane, told the Washington Post that representation in superhero shows is essential.

Leslie said her character will be “completely different” from Rose’s, but she confirmed that the new iteration of Batwoman will also be gay.

“Batwoman [is] gay in the comics,” Javicia Leslie said. “I think that is really important that [it] continues to be represented in our iteration of Batwoman as well.”

She added that “representation is so important”, and said: “I can’t wait until there [are] trans superheroes that [are] live-action.

“I think that… this role and other roles like this are constantly breaking the barriers of what normalcy is. And it’s creating a new normal that should represent everyone and not just what people think is the majority.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Leslie reflected on the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020, which occurred following the brutal killing of George Floyd after a white police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.

“I’m really saddened by the events that have happened within the last year. But it really just revealed that we have a lot of work to do as a world, more specifically as a country,” she said.

“Life imitates art, so it’s very important that what we see on television represents who we really are and that it continues to inspire people that may be voiceless or scared to [be] who they are.”

Batwoman star Javicia Leslie came out to her mother after being cast.

Leslie made history when she was named the first Black actor to play Batwoman, with headlines also picking up on her bisexuality – though when she was cast, she was yet to come out to her mother.

“We had to have a conversation when I got this role because I knew my sexuality would be discussed,” Leslie told Health magazine.

“She and I had never talked about it. She was like: ‘You don’t have to talk to me about it. I’m your mother, I’ve known since you were a child.’

“Once that was said, I didn’t have to speak to anyone else about it because my mother knew me and understood me.”