TV’s 1st Trans Superhero’s Coming & the Supergirl Cast Told Us All About It

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TV is about to get its first transgender superhero!

The CW just revealed that trans activist Nicole Maines will be joining the cast of Supergirl in the upcoming season. Nicole’s character will be a young reporter named Nia Nal who works with Kara (Supergirl) and later fulfills her superhero destiny as Dreamer.

Nicole started a national debate when she sued her school district for prohibiting her from using the girls’ restroom. The Maine Judicial Supreme Court sided with Nicole and ruled in 2014 that students could choose to use the bathroom that matched their gender identity. She and her family were also the subject of the book Becoming Nicole: The Extraordinary Transformation of an Ordinary Family, which was released in 2016. That same year, she even gave her own TEDx Talk on what it’s like to be transgender.

Nicole’s new role won’t be her first on-screen appearance. She was previously featured in the HBO documentary, The Trans List, and she also starred in an episode of Royal Pains as a transgender teen.

The 20-year-old told Variety that she was nervous because she wants to do things right in her new role. “We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are,” she said. “We’ve had trans representation in television for a while, but it hasn’t been the right representation … I think we’re in a time right now where more than ever representation in the media matters. And what we see on television has a very dramatic effect on our society.”

Nicole’s castmates are just as excited for their new recruit. Supergirl herself, Melissa Benoist, told Clevver, “It’s always the perfect time to tell people’s stories that aren’t always necessarily told and to be inclusive and to show compassion and understanding and give a voice to the transgender community. They should absolutely have a superhero, and it’s about time.”

For more cast reactions, watch the full video above!