‘Supergirl’ casts Nicole Maines as TV’s first transgender superhero

ABC News – A lot of news came out of Comic-Con this past weekend, but one story in particular had superhero fans buzzing with excitement.

The popular show “Supergirl” is making history by casting TV’s first transgender superhero.

Nicole Maines, a transgender activist and actress, will play the character Dreamer in season 4 of the CW show, taking on the role both in plain clothes, as young reporter Nia Nal working alongside Kara (Supergirl) at CatCo, and in superhero garb, which may come later in the season once she fulfills “her destiny as the superhero,” according to a press release out of San Diego.

The actress behind the role is just as heroic and game-changing as her character will be on screen.

If you don’t know much about the 20-year-old Nicole Maines, you have a lot of catching up to do!

In 2013, Maines made headlines after being barred from using a girl’s restroom at her school. She fought back, sued the school district and eventually the state Supreme Judicial Court ruled that her rights had been violated, which was a major benchmark for trans rights.

Just a couple of years later, Maines was featured in a book, “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family,” and guest-starred on USA’s “Royal Pains,” as a transgender teen.

She later appeared in the documentary, “The Trans List,” and now will get to fight crime alongside one of DC Universe’s fiercest and brightest stars in Supergirl.

When the news broke Saturday, Maines spoke to Variety about the casting.

“It feels fitting to say, ‘With great power, comes great responsibility,’” she said, alluding to a famous “Spider-Man” quote from years back. “I’m nervous because I want to do it right.”

Maines also opened up about what she wants other young trans individuals to take away from her role.

“We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are,” she said. “We’ve had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn’t been the right representation … I think we’re in a time right now where more than ever representation in the media matters. And what we see on television has a very dramatic effect on our society.”

The young actress also talked about why this casting is special, especially after a recent fiasco over the casting of Scarlett Johansson as a transgender man. Johansson initially signed on, then exited the project.

“I think that cis gender actors don’t take roles out of malice, it’s just a failure to realize the context of having cis gender people play transgender characters … Having trans people play trans roles shows that we are valid in our identities and we exist,” Maines said.

“Supergirl” season 4 will be back on the CW in October.

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