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Wentworth’s Zoe Terakes becomes first trans and non-binary actor to join Marvel Cinematic Universe

"this one’s for the trans guys n girls n theys"

By Alastair James

Zoe Terakes
Zoe Terakes makes history as Marvel's first trans actor (Image: Instagram/@zoeterakes)

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Instagram/@zoeterakes

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s LGBTQ representation has been a hotly debated topic for years. But it finally seems like things are changing with the announcement that the trans and non-binary actor Zoe Terakes has been cast in the Disney+ series, Ironheart.

Entertainment industry bible Deadline has been told that the Wentworth and Nine Perfect Strangers star has joined the series in an undisclosed role and that representatives for Marvel have declined to comment for the time being. 

Posting about their casting on Instagram on Thursday (11 August) the Australian actor, 22, wrote: “unbelievably stoked. this one’s for the trans guys n girls n theys 🫀🫀🫀🫀 so much love.”

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A post shared by zoe terakes (@zoeterakes)

Terakes’ casting comes swiftly on the heels of the news that RuPaul’s Drag Race and All Stars champion, Shea Couleé who also identifies as non-binary has joined Ironheart, again in an unknown role. 

Ironheart will focus on the character of Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne, who creates her own Iron Man-like suit. The character was briefly glimpsed in the recent Black Panther: Wakanda Forever trailer, which is due out later this year. 

Production on the Ironheart series is said to be underway.

Marvel has taken steps in recent years to improve its diversity. Eternals saw the MCU’s first openly gay superhero, Phastos, who was seen with his husband and son. Technically Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie was introduced first in Thor: Ragnarok, although references to the character’s bisexuality were removed.

The follow-up to Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder, did give us some subtle hints though. 

The recent Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness introduced Latina America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) who in the comics is a lesbian. Sadly, references to that were minimal at best.

And the recent Ms. Marvel series on Disney+ brought Marvel’s first Muslim superhero to life, played by Iman Vellani.

The Attitude September/October issue is out now.