A trans activist will play TV’s first ever trans superhero on Supergirl this week.
Nicole Maines, 21, will appear on Season 4 of the CW series on Sunday (14 October).
She will play Nia Nal, also known as Dreamer.
Producers say the character is a ‘soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others’.
Maines first reached public attention after her lawsuit against her school district.
Her elementary school said she could no longer use the girls’ bathroom. Maine’s highest court ruled in 2014 that officials violated state anti-discrimination law.
Maines said she was ‘beyond thrilled’ at getting the chance to play a positive role model for trans people.
‘And in a super-suit. I get to wear a super-suit,’ she said at Comic-Con.
‘It seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to.’
Supergirl storyline for trans character will be about much more than being trans
Refreshingly, the plot lines around Maines’ character’s won’t just revolve around them being trans.
‘Nia is so much more than just a trans superhero. She is a reporter, she is hopeful, she’s powerful, wise and such a good friend.’
Nicole’s acting career so far has led her to a 2016 GLAAD award for her performance in US show Royal Pains.
Speaking to Variety magazine at the Comic Con show, Maines said there had been trans representation on TV for years. However, she said it ‘hadn’t been the right kind of representation’.
She said trans characters had been played by cisgender men and were portrayed as sex workers and drug addicts. She said it was great to see writers, directors and casting agencies stepping up to help disprove some of the stereotypes around transgender people.
“We’ve had trans representation on television for a while but it hasn’t been the right representation,” says Nicole Maines, who will play TV’s first trans superhero on #Supergirl https://t.co/xsvh5qAJZ3 pic.twitter.com/P9BVkbUY96
— Variety (@Variety) 22 July 2018
‘I think we’re in a time now, where, more than ever, representation in the media matters,’ she told Variety.
Although hugely excited about the historic role, Maines confessed to being nervous. ’It feels fitting to say with great power, comes great responsibility,’ she told Variety, ‘I’m nervous because I want to do it right’.
As reported by Gay Star News in May, series producers announced plans for a transgender superhero to be included in the series earlier this year.