One of the best parts of Supergirl‘s excellent fourth season was Nia Nal (Nicole Maines).
Sweet, adorkable, but with a spine of steel, Nia became an instant fan favorite character since her debut in the season four premiere. Many fans were also excited by her inclusion already as Nia Nal, who goes by the moniker Dreamer, is the first transgender superhero in live-action. More importantly, she is played by trans advocate and activist, Nicole Maines.
Talking with Entertainment Weekly, Maines took a moment to reflect on the past year as Dreamer.
One of the biggest changes that she discussed was how her Twitter following increased and allowed her to talk with fans.
“I love Twitter, not just for comedy reasons, but because I’m able to interact with people directly. I’m able to see exactly how Dreamer has affected younger trans kids in rural areas who really didn’t have anyone before. One of my favorite parts is just [being] able to interact with folks on social media in a very, very dark time and getting to share that kind of positivity.”
Nia is Maines’ first major acting role. She’s been a trans advocate since being the plaintiff of the watershed 2014 case with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which declared that it is illegal to deny transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice. Maines has also done TED talks and appeared in the 2016 documentary, The Trans List.
She also talked about the impact of the nineteenth episode of Supergirl‘s fourth season, “American Dreamer” (directed by co-star David Harewood). During the episode, her character gives an interview where she talks about being half-alien and half-human along with her identity as a trans woman.
“That inadvertently [broke] the fourth wall because as Nia’s doing that, so am I. I’m going on television and declaring my identity as a trans woman, proudly, unapologetically, and in hopes of inspiring people.”
She also talked about how shows like FX’s Pose and Supergirl gave her hope for accurate trans representation in the media.
“They’ve taught me there are people in Hollywood who care. They’ve shown me the work we are doing has made a difference, that people are listening.”
Supergirl returns Sundays this fall on the CW for its fifth season.
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