The DC Comics relaunch of the Batgirl series includes Alysia Yeoh, the publisher's first transgender character in a mainstream series.

Alysia, who is also bisexual, comes out transgender to her roommate Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, in the newly-released Batgirl #19.

Writer Gail Simone told that Alysia will be “a character, not a public service announcement … being trans is just part of her story. If someone loved her before, and doesn't love her after, well – that's a shame, but we can't let that kind of thinking keep comics in the 1950s forever.”

“It's the issue for superhero comics,” she said, referring to diversity. “Look, we have a problem most media don't have, which is that almost all the tentpoles we build our industry upon were created over a half century ago … at a time where the characters were almost without exception white, cis-gendered, straight, on and on. It's fine – it's great that people love those characters. But if we only build around them, then we look like an episode of The Andy Griffith Show for all eternity.”

Simone added that she's working on another transgender character in a different comic that she's writing but did not provide any specific details.

“It's time for a trans hero in a mainstream comic,” she said.

Batgirl #19 went on sale Wednesday.