Film Forward

How Transgender Actress Nicole Maines Will Make History On 'Supergirl' This Fall

"She's the superhero we need right now."

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The CW series Supergirl made a major announcement about its upcoming fourth season at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend, sharing that actress Nicole Maines will be playing the first transgender superhero on television. According to Deadline, Maines has been cast as Nia Nal, a "soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others."

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Nia is joining the reporting team at CatCo, where main character Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist), aka Supergirl, works. Her superhero alter ego will be Dreamer. As CBR.com points out, the character sounds similar to Nura Nal, a DC character known as Dream Girl, and briefly Dreamer, who comes from the planet Naltor, where inhabitants "experience visions of the future through dreams."

"She has this ferocious drive to protect people and to fight against discrimination and hatred," Maines said during the show's Comic-Con panel, according to Entertainment Weekly. "She's the superhero we need right now." The 21-year-old added, "I wish there was a trans superhero when I was little."

The actress and activist has appeared on the USA series Royal Pains and was featured in the 2016 HBO documentary The Trans List. As a teen, Maines' family sued her school district for prohibiting her from using the girls' bathroom. In the case Doe vs. Clenchy, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that this was a violation of the state's Human Rights Act. 

"I haven't really wrapped my head around it," Maines told Variety of being cast in the history-making role. "It feels fitting to say with great power, comes great responsibility," she said, adding that she's "nervous because I want to do it right."

It's not the first news of positive LGBTQ representation to come out of The CW recently. The character Batwoman will also make her debut this fall during the yearly Arrowverse crossover between SupergirlThe FlashArrow, and Legends of Tomorrow. She is the first-ever lesbian lead character in the DC Comics.

"We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are," Maines told Variety of the importance of transgender representation. We can't wait to see what the show has in store for her character when Supergirl returns October 14 on The CW.

Cover image: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

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