TV to get first transgender superhero
Supergirl is set to become the first TV series to feature a transgender superhero.
Nicole Maines, who is transgender herself, is set to play the part of Nia Nal in the Sky One show.
Ms Maines, 20, said in an interview at a Comic-Con event in San Diego, California: “A lot of shows are introducing trans characters to their casts because this is such a hot topic issue right now and it’s so important in our society.”
She added: “You know it seems fitting to have a trans superhero – Supergirl stepped up and I stepped in.”
Nia Nal, who is also known as Dreamer in the show, appears to be a new take on the DC character Nura Nal who was also known as Dream Girl, according to the superhero fan site Fandom.
A “DC Database” on the site lists Nura Nal’s abilites as being able to see the future and having a “genius-level intellect”.
Nia Nal will feature in season four of the show when it airs on Sky One on an unconfirmed date.
Ms Maine said in an interview with Variety: “When I was first coming out to my parents, you know late 90s early 2000s, we had trans people on television portrayed by cis men as sex workers and drug addicts – which painted a very specific image.”
Cisgender, or cis for short, is the term for people who identify as the sex they were assigned at birth.
Ms Maine added: “Having trans women portrayed by cis men contributed to that idea that we are men in dresses, and that was damaging for a long time.”
Supergirl, whose title character is portrayed by Melissa Benoist, is based on the DC Comics series of the same name.
The show centres around Superman’s 24-year-old cousin Kara Danvers, who after years of keeping her powers a secret decides to embrace her superhuman abilities.
The “Girl of Steel” possesses all of her famous cousin’s powers – such as superhuman strength and the ability to fly.
Nicole Maines made the news in 2014 when she won the right to use the female bathroom at her high school in a landmark case.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision marked the first time a state court made it unlawful to deny a transgender student access to a bathroom consistent with their gender identity.