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August 09, 2018 at 08:23 AM EDT

Ruby Rose hadn’t had a chance to speak publicly about her casting as Batwoman before coming onto The Tonight Show Wednesday, so she was understandably still on the verge of “spontaneously crying” when the subject came up. “It’s a game changer,” she told Jimmy Fallon.

Rose will portray Kate Kane on the CW’s annual superhero crossover event this December, as well as in a potential Batwoman solo series. What’s unique about this incarnation of the caped character is that Kate is openly gay in the comics — and she’ll be just as open about it on TV, as well.

“I feel like the reason I get so emotional, growing up watching TV, I never saw somebody on TV that I could identify with, let alone a superhero,” Rose, who herself is lesbian and identifies as gender fluid, said. “I have always had this saying — I mean, not me, Oscar Wilde — which is be yourself because everyone else is taken. So I always live by that motto, and the second motto when I came into the industry was be the person that you needed when you were younger. I feel like one motto led to another.”

Rose, who also stars in killer shark movie The Meg with Jason Statham, says she found out about the casting an hour before her film’s premiere. “I was so nervous doing the red carpet that I basically skipped everybody,” she says. But now the news is out there.

Here’s how The CW describes Kate’s introduction to the universe of Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl: “Armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, Kate Kane soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.”

Just as Chris Pratt, Chris Evans, Gal Gadot, and other superhero celebs have done, Rose is also excited to be able to visit children in need dressed as Batwoman. “Not only can kids watch this growing up and relate to it and feel empowered and think that they can be a superhero,” she says, “but also I can go in and do these things like visiting hospitals and kids and people in need. It’s an amazing opportunity.”

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