In this day and age, we need to be grateful for the smaller blessings. One of those small blessings? More diverse superheroes in media.
At Comic-Con on Saturday, the cast and crew of CW‘s hit show Supergirl had a groundbreaking announcement — they’re welcoming the first transgender superhero to television. Trans activist and actress Nicole Maines will play Nia Nal, known by her superhero name Dreamer, a young trans woman who has a fierce drive to protect others.
In an interview with Variety, Maines said she truly hasn’t wrapped her head around it yet.
“It feels fitting to say with great power, comes great responsibility,” she said. “I’m nervous because I want to do it right.”
This announcement comes right on the coattails of the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johannson, who recently gave up the role of playing a trans man after much backlash in the industry and online. Maines said that while she doesn’t fault Johannson and other actors like her, she does think she made the right choice to bow out.
“I think that cisgender actors don’t take roles out of malice it’s just a failure to realize the context of having cisgender people play transgender 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 playing dress up for whatever reasons and that’s just not true. Having trans people play trans roles shows that we are valid in our identities and we exist.”
“We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes because in many ways we are,” she continued. “We’ve had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn’t been the right representation.”
Supergirl returns for itsfourth season on October 14, so it’s safe to say we’ll be anxiously awaiting Maines’ debut.