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Ironheart's Zoe Terakes becomes first trans actor to join MCU

Ironheart's Zoe Terakes becomes first trans actor to join MCU

It's a breakthrough moment for the franchise, with Zoe Terraces being the studio's first trans actor in a major role

Marvel has announced that Ironheart will feature the studio’s first trans actor in a major role.

Zoe Terakes, a trans man, will play a currently unknown role in the Disney+ series, which will air later this year.

It’s a landmark moment for Marvel, who have been introducing more LGBTQ+ characters into their film and TV adaptations recently.

Zoe Terakes (R) will appear in MCU later this year.
Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo

Speaking to Collider about casting, Terakes shared their joy about landing the role and the importance of casting trans actors.

"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," they said.

Expressing their gratitude for the Marvel role, they continued: "I think I just feel deeply grateful and moved that little trans kids and trans teens have something to look at and to know they exist and to know that they can have superpowers, and that that’s where we belong."

Terakes will appear alongside lead actress Dominique Thorne, who will portrays teenager Riri Williams (aka Ironheart) as she develops the world’s most advanced super suit.

While little is known about Terakes’ role, the series will be based on the original Ironheart comics and feature many beloved characters from the Marvel spin-off.

Ironheart will be released later this year.

For Terakes, the role marks a momentous occasion as they suggested that trans characters are often excluded from happier narratives.

They also added that there needs to be more light-hearted storylines for trans characters in mainstream media, rather than just viewing them as tragic figures.

"We don't just belong in trauma stories on the fringes dying in things, you know? We belong there with the big guys," they said, adding: "So yeah, it meant a lot to me.”

Marvel has previously come under fire for its representation of LGBTQ+ characters.

Many MCU fans criticised how Valkyrie’s bisexuality was portrayed in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), stating that it could have been more explicit.

MCU fans criticised how Valkyrie’s bisexuality was portrayed in Thor: Ragnarok.
Marvel/Entertainment Pictures

One fan on Twitter even accused the brand of ‘erasing’ LGBTQ+ characters, after a scene confirming Valkyrie’s sexuality was cut from the final film.

Nevertheless, the MCU is trying to grow its representation of LGBTQ+ groups, with the first same sex couple appearing in Eternals in 2021.

The franchise will also welcome RuPaul's Drag Race star Shea Couleé who will be joining the Ironheart cast alongside Terakes.

Featured Image Credit: @zoeterakes/Instagram/Marvel

Topics: LGBTQ, Film and TV, Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe