Nicole Maines

The CW Makes History With First Transgender Superhero in ‘Supergirl’

At Comic Con last weekend, CW announced some exciting news for ‘Supergirl’ fans! They are welcoming their newest cast member to the team, Nicole Maines!

 

 

If Maines’s name sounds familiar, that’s because it should; in 2014, the then sixteen-year-old went head-to-head with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (and won) when she claimed that her high school was violating her rights under the Human Rights Act by not allowing her to use the restroom of her choosing. The court ruled in her favor, and Maines has been a leading figurehead in the fight for transgender rights ever since.

 

Maines went on to be featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List, along with playing a guest-starring role on the television series Royal Pains. And now, the twenty-year-old actress and activist will take on the role of the newest Supergirl heroine, Nia Nal.

 

The character is said to based on the DC Comics character Nura Nal, otherwise known as Dream Girl, who has the ability to foresee the deaths of others. 

 

Nura Nal original comics

Image via MajorSpoilers

 

This announcement came just days after the CW and Warner Bros. announced their plans to make Batwoman openly gay in their new Batwoman television adaptation, much like she is in the original comics.

 

It’s so exciting to see companies as prominent as the CW and Warner Bros. openly speak out and take a stand for the LGBTQ+ community. The LGBTQ+ community is rarely depicted in a real, raw, and normalized human way within film and television; it’s refreshing to see that begin to shift, especially after Scarlett Johansson’s Rub & Tug casting, in which Hollywood decided to cast yet another cis-actor as a trans-role. Johansson has since relinquished the role. Maines herself, spoke out against the casting (and you can read more trans-actors’ takes on it here):

 

We have straight people playing gay people all the time and that’s because there isn’t a larger conversation around—there’s not so much harmful rhetoric flying around that they are parading around, dressing up, pretending and so you have to think about context with that. And with trans folks, we have a lot of people accusing us of just playing dress up for whatever reason, and that’s not true. And so having trans people play trans roles shows that we are valid in our identity and we deserve to exist as we do. And so when we have cisgender actors play trans characters, it further that stereotype that we are playing dress up, which is not true.

 

The transgender community is the most-targeted community regarding hate crimes, acts of violence, and even homicide of any demographic. Researchers in 2017 discovered that one third of the transgender community has been the victim of a hate crime. And 53% of anti-LGBTQ+ murders are transgendered women. (If you’re looking for ways to get involved or more information on how you can help, click here.)

 

The hatred and oppression will only continue if we, as a society, continue to fail; we need to allow transpeople to share their stories, to be on television, to star in movies, to be so clearly, unashamedly visible and present and equal and here without the constant fear of being targeted because of it. We are one people and we need to uplift and protect each other; failure to bring equality to all is immoral and inhuman in the cruelest of ways.

 

The CW is leading the way towards visibility in the media with Supergirl and it’s time for the rest of Hollywood to follow their lead.

 

Trans Lifeline Hotline: 877-565-8860

 

via GIPHY

 

 

 

Featured Image via USA Today