‘Supergirl’ Casts First Transgendered Superhero–Nicole Maines Speaks Out About Her Role

by Shaina Lucas
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Supergirl is making the headlines after a casting announcement. Nicole Maines will be playing the first transgender superhero as Nia Nal/Dreamer. Maines will be a series regular on the show. Supergirl will be returning to The CW for season four, along with The Flash, Black Lightning, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. The roster of CW shows has been a beacon of light for inclusion and diversity with Legends of Tomorrow casting their first Muslim superhero. Black Lightning features a black lesbian superhero (Anissa Pierce), as well as a family of black superheroes, led by Jefferson Pierce. The way things are going in this world, these inclusions are a game changer.

After Supergirl featured Kara Danvers’ (Melissa Benoist) foster sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) as coming out and dating a woman, they are now the first in history to feature a transgender character. Nicole Maines is Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, and she is a “soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others.” Her season four arc will have Nia evolve into the superhero Dreamer, which runs parallel to Kara’s journey to find her way back to Supergirl after the events of season three.

Nia Nal may sound familiar to DC fans since there is a similar character called Nura Nal who was first introduced in 1964. Nura made her debut in Adventure Comics #317 as was known as Dream Girl, who at one point, was known as Dreamer in the 90s. Dream Girl is a member of The Legion of Super-Heroes and comes from the planet Naltor. She possesses a precognitive ability by seeing visions of the future through her dreams. It seems Nia Nal will be a spin-off of Nura, but it’s not clear how much of her origin will be adapted to Supergirl.

Maines is famous for her involvement in the 2013 Doe v. Clency case in the Maine Supreme Court where she advocated for transgender students to be allowed to use the bathroom of their gender. Maines has also appeared on USA’s Royal Pains and was featured on HBO’s The Trans List.

Nicole is also not taking her role lightly. She has acknowledged she feels a tremendous amount of responsibility in taking on the role.

 “It feels fitting to say with great power comes great responsibility,” she observed.

In an interview with Variety, she admitted she hasn’t quite wrapped her head around the announcement yet and is “nervous because I want to do it right.” Maines feels this is an ideal opportunity to help fans and TV viewers understand the transgender community.

“We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are. We’ve had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn’t been the right representation. With trans folks we have a lot of people accusing us of just playing dress up for whatever reasons,” she pointed out, “and that’s just not true.”

We can’t wait to see her in action! What do you think of this historic moment? Let us know in the comments!

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