Trans activists celebrate ‘Supergirl’ casting TV’s first transgender superhero

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Nicole Maines - Photo by C Flanigan/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- The popular CW show Supergirl is making history in its fourth season by casting TV's first transgender superhero. Nicole Maines, a transgender activist and actress, will play the character Nia Nal, who becomes the hero Dreamer.

The news meant the world to people like Nicole. "It's groundbreaking, legendary, amazing, and iconic to have a transgender person play a trans superhero," trans activist and adult entertainer Mia Isabella told ABC Radio in a statement. It's important, she says, "so that young trans people can identify and see themselves [in] the characters that are being portrayed." 

The 20-year-old Maines is just as heroic and game-changing as her character will be on screen. In 2013, she made headlines after being barred from using a girl's restroom at her school. She 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 the book Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, and guest-starred on USA's Royal Pains as a transgender teen.

Eva Paradis, another trans entertainer, couldn't be happier with the changes in mainstream entertainment.

"I love how television is opening up to the trans community with shows like Pose and now [Maines' character] Dreamer on Supergirl," she told ABC Radio in a statement.  "What I hope for the future is for trans women to play cisgender female roles as well, because we can do it all, like any other actress with talent, ambition and drive."

Maines' casting comes shortly after Scarlett Johansson dropped out of a role in which she would have played a transgender man, following backlash from the trans community.

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