The Advocate


In 2020, when much of the world was shuttered, Javicia Leslie became a superhero. In July, she landed the lead, Ryan Wilder, in the CW’s Batwoman. As a Black bisexual woman portraying the queer Batwoman, she became a first for visibility on several fronts and a hero to those who saw themselves in her identities’ intersections. As an artist (she’s also a director) with a platform, she embraces the fact that living authentically inspires people across a wide spectrum.

Being a “first” of any kind is often fraught with pressure. But Leslie, whose work includes BET’s delicious crime series The Family Business and the romantic comedy Always a, is focused on her new job while remaining aware that what she’s doing is meaningful to the fans.

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