While there’ve been Marvel characters in the past who appeared to be trans, or somewhere on the LGBT spectrum, the company have now announced their first official transgender superhero. The Mighty Rebekah is inspired by a 12-year-old transgender girl of the same name and forms part of Marvel’s Hero Project series on Disney Plus. As part of the show, the Mighty Rebekah has her own comic book, too, the first issue of which is available to read on Marvel’s website for free.
Rebekah and her family have been active in trans and general LGBT rights in New Jersey, including the Garden State Equality organization, which aims to tackle misinformation about transgender people in society. Furthermore, Rebekah has appeared before New Jersey lawmakers to push for Assembly Bill 1335, which mandates that schools include LGBT history as part of their curriculum. The Bill recently passed and LGBT teaching will be introduced in the state in 2020.
In a video interview with Rebekah, available above, she and her mother talk about their advocacy and success in widening understanding of transgender children in the school system. The clip also shows Rebekah speaking at an event for Garden State Equality, with her mother noting her bravery at speaking in public on behalf of trans rights.
Commenting on being selected to participate in Marvel’s Hero Project, Rebekah had this to say:
“It’s really surprising and cool. But I also think that it’s really important to have a transgender kid in one of these companies because representation is really helpful for kids who are going through their transition to know that they are not alone and that there are people fighting for them.”
We’re happy to see that Marvel are giving activists like Rebekah a larger audience, as well as the very cool opportunity to be a cover star of her own comic. The docuseries from Marvel also follows other aspects of her transition, including her religious faith, and given Marvel‘s commitment to increasing LGBT visibility in the MCU, it’s important to see that they’re using docuseries like Marvel’s Hero Project to tell these kinds of diverse stories and ground them in the real world.