Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

Marvel star Zoe Terakes wants trans kids to know: ‘They can have superpowers’

"We belong there with the big guys," says Zoe Terakes.

By Alastair James

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

Zoe Terakes, Marvel’s first trans and non-binary actor, wants trans youth to know that “they exist,” and that “they can have superpowers.”

Last year, Terakes, 22, was announced to be joining the upcoming series Disney+ series, Ironheart. Details of their role remain undisclosed.

The Wentworth and Nine Perfect Strangers was confirmed to be in the cast in August. They join Dominique Thorne as lead character RiRi Williams as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars winner, Shea Couleé.

“We belong there with the big guys”

Speaking to Collider recently Terakes said they feel “deeply grateful,” that trans youth are getting the representation they lacked.

“I think as trans people, growing up I didn’t get to see myself anywhere, so I didn’t really know that I existed. And especially not in a superhero show or movie,” Terakes said.

They added they’re moved that trans children will be able to watch their performance and know that, “they exist and to know that they can have superpowers, and that that’s where we belong.”

Continuing they also said: “We don’t just belong in trauma stories on the fringes dying in things, you know? We belong there with the big guys.”

Ironheart will focus on the character of Riri Williams, played by Dominique Thorne, who creates her own Iron Man-like suit. The character had a starring role in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

The show is due to arrive on Disney+ later this year.

Dominique Thorne as RiRi Williams/Ironheart in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Dominique Thorne as Riri Williams/Ironheart in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Image: Disney)

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 RagnarokThor: Love and Thunder, did give us some subtle hints though. It also introduced Hercules (Brett Goldstein) who in the comics is bisexual.

Loki’s gender fluidity and bisexual identity were also teased in promo material and during the first season of Loki.

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.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever also introduced the canonically queer Aneka (Michaela Coel) who is seen kissing Ayo (Florence Kasumba).

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