Today, many will forgive Supergirl’s lousy first season since the show will introduce the world’s first transgender superhero in Nicole Maines. The activist/actor will play the role of Nia Nal, who later comes to be known as Dreamer.
— Sydney Bucksbaum (@SydneyBucksbaum) July 21, 2018
Introduced as the latest member of the second season of Supergirl at the recently concluded San Diego Comic-Con Festival (SDCC 2018), Maines said, “It seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to.” She described the character as a ‘soulful transgender woman with a fierce will to protect everyone around her’.
Maines seems excited about her character as a whole and is hoping that the audience will try and look beyond her gender — “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.”
Yo, I may not have liked the last season of the show but I gotta give supergirl props on this. They casted trans actress Nicole Maines to play dream girl of the legion of superheroes. Kudos!!! #DoYouEvenComicBook pic.twitter.com/Sjx0nLOcNS
— #kamalakorp (@agentfitz777) July 21, 2018
Nicole Maines on the ScarJo casting controversy: “Having cis actors play trans characters furthers that stereotype of, we are playing dress up, which is not true” https://t.co/xsvh5qAJZ3 #SDCC2018 pic.twitter.com/iQPqvEiQCE
— Variety (@Variety) July 22, 2018
This comes as refreshing news after the recent Scarlett Johansson controversy, wherein the actor took on the role to play a transgender man. After facing public outcry, she was forced to step down from the project. Similarly, closer home, people showed awareness about the casting of Kubra Sait in the Indian Netflix series Sacred Games, to which the showrunners responded by saying that they looked really hard but couldn’t find a suitable actor for the part.
Maines herself came out and spoke about the ‘ScarJo’ affair, saying that none of the actors took these roles out of malice. But it was also necessary to demarcate that what happens so easily for sexuality, shouldn’t happen for gender. After all, there are only so many parts for a transgender actor compared to their cisgender counterparts. This is definitely a step forward, and it deserves to be celebrated!