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Nicole Maines: TV’s First Transgender Superhero

Nicole Maines

During San Diego Comic-Con, Supergirl announced that Nicole Maines would be playing Nia Nal, aka Dreamer. Nicole Maines is a trans activist whose acting credits include Royal Pains and the HBO documentary The Trans List

Nicole Maines at San Diego Comic Con. Image via Getty/Mike Coppola.
Nicole Maines at San Diego Comic Con. Image via Getty/Mike Coppola.

Nia Nal is Supergirl‘s take on DC character Nural Nal, aka Dream Girl. Dream Girl can foresee the deaths of others but was never identified as transgender. 

Ever since President Donald Trump made his opinion known about transgender people, transgender characters have become increasingly popular on the small screen. FX’s Pose set a record earlier this year for the largest cast of transgender characters portrayed by transgender series regulars. 

Greg Berlanti, executive producer of Supergirl, wants more LGBTQ stories in television. He has made it his personal mission to make sure that happens. 

“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,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2016.

Greg Berlanti is not the only producer who feels this way. Co-showrunner Jessica Queller told Variety, “We want to tell on our show the whole spectrum of humanity, and that everyone can be a hero. This is a perfect time and a beautiful opportunity to represent this population.” 

Nicole Maines on Supergirl Storyline

When Variety asked Maines what fans should take away from her storyline, she had this to say.

“More than anything, 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, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are. More importantly, I think as a trans character whose storyline is not necessarily revolving around her being trans, I really want viewers to take away that trans characters don’t have to be the trans character. They can be so much more.”

Supergirl returns Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT as part of The CW’s first-ever Sunday night lineup.


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About the author

Renji Kuriakose

Renji Kuriakose is a big comic book fan. His favorite character has been Batman since he could remember.

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