History has been made. This fall The CW will add another superhero to their roster, and this time it will be a television first. Supergirl will welcome TV's first ever transgender superhero.
The role will be played by transgender actress and activist, Nicole Maines.
Maines will join the cast in the show's fourth season to play Nia Nal also known as, The Dreamer. The Dreamer is described as "as a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others." Which is something that Maines knows a little bit about.
In 2013, Maines made headlines when a Maine Supreme Court ruled that her rights had been violated under the state's Human Rights Act. This was a victory for trans rights, ruling that transgender people can use the bathroom of their choice.
Transgender stories have been increasing in television over the last five years. Supergirl executive producer, Greg Berlanti told The Hollywood Reporter in May of 2016 that it is his personal mission to to tell LGBTQ stories. "Even with the action shows though, I've still tried to do my part in making those shows relevant where I can, whether it's having openly gay actors play straight characters or straight actors play gay characters."
This casting is being praised by the transgender community. The news comes just weeks after Scarlett Johansson came under fire for accepting a role as a transgender man in an upcoming film. The criticism of Johansson's casting focused on Hollywood wanting to tell transgender stories, but without casting transgender actors in those roles. Johansson has since dropped out of the film after the backlash.
On Sunday, Maines spoke about this issue with Variety saying, "We have straight people playing gay people all the time and that’s because there isn’t a larger conversation around — there’s not so much harmful rhetoric flying around that they are parading around, dressing up, pretending,” she said.
“And so you have to think about context with that. And with trans folks, we have a lot of people accusing us of just playing dress up for whatever reason, and that’s not true. And so having trans people play trans roles shows that we are valid in our identity and we deserve to exist as we do. And so when we have cisgender actors play trans characters, it further that stereotype that we are playing dress up, which is not true.”
Supergirl returns Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. on The CW's new Sunday night line-up.
See Maines reaction to finally being able to share the news and some of the love and support she's received: