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Trans activist Nicole Maines becomes TV's first trans superhero in Supergirl

Maines came into the limelight when she won a discrimination lawsuit against her school after it refused to let her use the girls' restroom in 2014

Nanda Das @nanda1das 23 July 2018, 1:12 PM
Maines won the 2016 GLAAD award for her performance in the American television drama series Royal Pains

Maines won the 2016 GLAAD award for her performance in the American television drama series Royal Pains Image: Twitter

Supergirl, the CW show that tells the story of Superman's cousin Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers, made history this weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con. The show announced that Nicole Maines would be joining the cast as television's first transgender superhero.

While there were reports earlier this year that Supergirl was casting a transgender character, the announcement made those reports a reality and helped the show take a huge leap by casting Maines, who is herself a trans actor, in the role.

Maines has been cast as Nia Nal, who will come to National City (Supergirl's hometown) in the show's fourth season, and will receive guidance and training from the title character.

According to the official character description, Maines' character Nia Nal, is a superhero known as Dreamer. She is the latest entrant to the Catco reporting team (where Supergirl works in her non-superhero avatar when she's not busy saving the world). Nal is a vibrant young transgender woman with an intense desire to protect others.

Talking about her casting, Maines said at the show's panel, "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 a transgender activist who, in 2014, successfully sued her school district after being denied access to the girl’s restroom at her school. She was also the subject of the book Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family and was featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List.


Supergirl is based on the DC Comics' character of the same name and is set in the same universe as other comic book characters such as The Flash and Arrow. Melissa Benoist stars in the titular role.

"Nia is so much more than just a trans superhero. She is a reporter, she is hopeful, she's powerful, wise and such a good friend," Maines added.

Tweeple are also celebrating this historic move by showing their appreciation for TV's first trans superhero.

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