‘Supergirl’ Has Cast A Trans Actress To Play A Trans Superhero
Finally someone gets it right.
In an era of Scarlett Johannson eagerly grabbing at every minority role in Hollywood, and cisgender and straight people routinely playing trans and queer roles, it’s wonderful to hear that Supergirl has finally done trans representation right.
It was announced at ComicCon that trans activist and actress Nicole Maines has been cast as the character Nia Nal, aka Dreamer, a young trans woman and superhero who receives guidance from Supergirl in the show. She will be joining Supergirl’s fourth season on the US network The CW.
“I’ve been doing a lot of auditions lately because a lot of different shows have been really eager to tell the story of transgender people,” Maines said on stage in San Diego. “It seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to. I wish there was a trans superhero when I was little.”
Maines is known for her activism work, having successfully sued her school district in 2014 after being denied access to the girl’s restroom at her school. Her credits include the HBO documentary The Trans List.
In an interview with Variety after the casting announcement, Maines said, “We’ve had representation on television for a while, but it hasn’t been the right kind of representation.”
She hopes that this kind of casting paves the way forward for trans representation on screen.
“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.”
"We've had trans representation on television for a while but it hasn't been the right representation," says Nicole Maines, who will play TV's first trans superhero on #Supergirl https://t.co/xsvh5qAJZ3 pic.twitter.com/P9BVkbUY96
— Variety (@Variety) July 22, 2018
In regards to the recent casting of Scarlett Johannson as a trans character, Maines felt that it would have been a continuation of bad trans representation.
“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 trans gender characters,” she said. “We don’t see the same issue with sexuality, we see straight people play gay all the time. With trans folks we have a lot of people accusing us of just playing dress up for whatever reasons and that’s just not true. Having trans people play trans roles show that we are valid in our identities and we exist.”
Supergirl season four returns to The CW in October.