Trans activist and actress Nicole Maines has been cast as television’s first transgender superhero in the upcoming season of Supergirl.
Maines will play Nia Nal, a.k.a. Dreamer, a young trans woman and superhero who receives guidance from Supergirl on the show.
“I haven’t really wrapped my head around being a superhero, first of all, and then also being the first trans superhero on television,” Maines told Variety at San Diego Comic-Con.
“It feels fitting to say that with great power comes great responsibility. I’m very, very hopeful, very excited, and at the same time I’m nervous because I want to do it right.”
She continued, “I think this character, Nia, is so good. She’s pure, she has this fierce drive to protect people in marginalized communities.
“I think she’s going to be a lot of fun, and I think folks are really going to like her.
“Most importantly, I want fans to take away an understanding of trans people — that we can be anybody, we can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, that we can be superheroes because in many ways we are.”
Maines also weighed in on the recent controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson being cast as a trans man in crime drama Rub & Tug.
“I think we’re in a time right now where more than ever representation in the media matters,” she said.
“And what we see on television has a very dramatic effect on our society.
“I think that cisgender actors don’t take roles out of malice, it’s just a failure to realize the context of having cisgender people play transgender characters.
“Having trans people play trans roles show that we are valid in our identities and we exist.”