The news about the CW series was announced on Saturday at Comic-Con. Transgender actress and activist Nicole Maines will take on the role of Nia Nal, a.k.a. Dreamer, in the fourth season of the show.
"It’s such an important issue right now in our society and in the world," Maines said during the Supergirl panel at Comic-Con. "And so it seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to."
During an interview with Variety, Maines said she still has not wrapped her mind around her new role. "It feels fitting to say with great power, comes great responsibility," she explained. "I’m nervous because I want to do it right."
Maines wants TV viewers to have a better understanding of the trans community with her casting. "We can be whoever we want, we can do whatever we want, we can be superheroes, because in many ways we are," she told Variety. "We've had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn't been the right representation."
She also hopes that her casting in Supergirl will contribute to a wave of "right representation" of the trans community. "I think we’re in a time right now where more than ever representation in the media matters," she said. "And what we see on television has a very dramatic effect on our society."
Maines was featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List and made a guest appearance as a transgender teenager in the show Royal Pains.