Nicole Maines, a transgender actress, has signed on to play Dreamer in The CW’s Supergirl, it was announced this Saturday at San Diego Comic Con. This will be the first appearance of a transgender superhero on primetime television.


Dreamer, whose true name is Nia Nai, was described by Supergirl‘s producers as a “soulful, young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others.” In the comic books, Dreamer is a member of the Legion of Super Heroes, whose adventures are set in the 30th and 31st centuries.

Maines will portray the crime fighter in Supergirl‘s forthcoming season, giving her the honor of playing the first transgender superhero on television. Speaking with Variety, the actress admits she still hasn’t “wrapped [her] head around it” yet, adding, “It feels fitting to say with great power, comes great responsibility. I’m nervous because I want to do it right.”


Maines had previously been featured in HBO’s The Trans List documentary, and she hopes her appearance on Supergirl will help people more thoroughly understand the transgender community. “We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are,” Maines said. “We’ve had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn’t been the right representation.”

Her latter comment is in reference to how transgender characters are often portrayed by cisgender actors or actresses, often as sex addicts or drug abusers. Scarlett Johansson recently drew backlash for her casting as the transgender lead in Rub & Tug, later bowing out of the role. Maines is grateful for this, believing that Johansson playing a transgender man would have perpetuated stereotypes about her community.

Supergirl‘s fourth season will premiere on Oct. 14.

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