During a panel at Comic Con in San Diego, California, over the weekend, it was announced that trans activist and actress Nicole Maines will be joining the cast of The CW’s ‘Supergirl’. Not only that, but she will become television’s first live-action transgender superhero.
Upon announcing the news, Maines told an excited audience at Comic Con that “it seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to,” and damn right too.
Maines will take on the role of Nia Nal, who also goes by the superhero name of Dreamer, who is described as being “a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others.” The role is inspired by the superhero Nura Nal, who made her first comic book appearance in issue 317 of ‘Adventure Comics’ in February 1964.
In an interview with Variety magazine, Maines said that “We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are.
She added to the publication that “we’ve had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn’t been the right representation,” and that “having trans people play trans roles show that we are valid in our identities and we exist.”
Maines comments come after a backlash to the news that Scarlett Johansson was due to play the role of a trans man in a new movie based on the story of Dante “Tex” Gill. Johansson later backed out of the role following the response to the casting, and said in a statement that she believes “all artists should be considered equally and fairly,” and that she was “grateful to be part of the debate”.
Some people may recognise Nicole Maines for being responsible for bringing the case of Doe v. Clenchy before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court in June 2013. The case helped set a precedent for allowing trans people to use the bathrooms of their choice.
Maines has also appeared on HBO documentary ‘The Trans List’, and has had a book written about her life in Amy Ellis Nutt’s ‘Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family’.
Nia Nal will make her first on-screen appearance on season four of CW’s ‘Supergirl’, which will premiere on the channel on October 14th.