It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the first openly gay superhero to headline a TV show. It’s also about damn time. Australian actor Ruby Rose has been announced as the star of the upcoming Batwoman series on the CW and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Even more exciting, Rose’s involvement makes her one of only a few openly gay actors to play a superhero.
Rose’s Batwoman will first appear during crossover episodes in December on the DC shows The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl. The standalone Batwoman series is tentatively slated to premiere sometime in 2019 or 2020, with Batwoman, real name Kate Kane, described as “a highly trained street fighter with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind”.
The Batwoman character was first introduced in the 1950s to combat U.S. Senate critics who accused Batman of being gay. In 2006, Batwoman came out and was reintroduced as a Jewish lesbian who was in a romantic relationship with a female detective in the Gotham police department. Batwoman–like so many non-fictional women–has faced hardships in the DC comics for her sexuality, having been expelled from West Point after publicly coming out. Additionally, Kate struggles with a difficult relationship with her father; just so relateable. We’re excited to see what aspects of Batwoman’s life from the comics are kept in the upcoming series.
Sharing her excitement about the role on her Instagram page, Rose writes that she’s “…beyond thrilled and honored,” calling the role a childhood dream. “This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on tv and felt alone and different,” writes Rose.
The Bat is out of the bag and I am beyond thrilled and honored. I’m also an emotional wreck.. because this is a childhood dream. This is something I would have died to have seen on TV when I was a young member of the LGBT community who never felt represented on tv and felt alone and different. Thank you everyone. Thank you god.
Rose’s impressive and varied filmography makes her the perfect choice for the role of Batwoman. The model-turned-actor first rose to fame as a VJ on MTV Australia, later appearing as a charming inmate on Orange Is The New Black, a rock star in Pitch Perfect 3, and an action star in xXx: Return of Xander Cage. Rose also stars in the upcoming shark thriller The Meg, which opens August 10.
Rose joins a handful of openly out LGBTQ actors who star on superhero shows and films. Ezra Miller made history being cast as The Flash, making him the first openly gay actor to lead a superhero film. Arrow’s Colton Haynes and John Barrowman, The Flash’s Wentworth Miller, and X-Men’s Ellen Page, Sir Ian McKellan and Anna Paquin are all helping to make the superhero world more inclusive.