"Batgirl" Creative Team Issues Apology After Transphobia Allegations
After being called out for offensive stereotypes in Batgirl #37, the writers have issued an apology.
In Batgirl #37, masked superhero Barbara Gordon does battle with a rhinestone-studded Batgirl doppelgänger.
Believing the villain to be a woman, Batgirl is stunned to discover the doppelgänger is Dagger Type, a man.
Audience members laugh at Dagger Type when his identity is revealed and boo him. Controversy quickly arose from the comic book's alleged depiction of a transgender villain.
Batgirl has a history of positive transgender representation. When the series was written by Gail Simone, one of Barbara's best friends came out to her.
After Alysia Yeoh's confession (above), Barbara responded warmly to her friend and offered her support. It seemed like a sign that Batgirl was devoted to portraying transgender issues in a positive light.
Since taking over the series with issue #35, writers Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart have seemingly aimed to create controversy with their stories.
In response to #37, Rachel Stevens from Women Write About Comics was one of the first to call out the writers on their offensive story and its intentions:
Murderous or deceptive men disguising themselves as women has been a trope in fiction long before the creation of cinema, and it's shown up too many times to list or even count. The trope isn't even subverted here, which is the hell of it. Batgirl has been praised for being a breath of fresh air compared to the rest of DC's material, both visually and in its writing. It's been celebrated as feminist and gotten plenty of people interested in comics. The fact that it used a tired transphobic trope in the new creative team's third issue shows that it isn't nearly as groundbreaking as many hoped and believed. Its fans are going to miss that or defend the book anyway.