It was mentioned way back in January 2018 by Greg Berlanti, the creator and executive producer of Supergirl, that there was a lack of representation, in the Arrowverse, of a transgender character. In May 2018, a casting call went out for a transgender actress in her early 20’s of any ethnicity to play the character Nia Nal, a descendant of Nura Nal (Dream Girl); then it was announced on the 21st July 2018 at San Diego Comic Con, that transgender actress Nicole Maines would be portraying the role of Nia Nal and that Nia would become the superhero Dreamer.
Appearing as Nia Nal in the opening episode of Supergirl season four (American Alien), Nia’s back story is that she worked for Cat Grant at the White House Press Office and Cat felt that she should go to National City to be taken under the wing of Kara Danvers to learn reporting. It isn’t until the mid-season opener, Suspicious Minds, that we actually see Dreamer in all her splendour. And Dreamer’s super power? She has the ability of precognition, the ability to see in to the future, a psychic.
Born Wyatt Benjamin Maines on October 7, 1997, Nicole was adopted at birth, along with her identical twin brother Jonas by a distant biological relative of one of their parents. It was as early as the age of 3 when Nicole knew she was transgender and chose the name Nicole after a favourite tv character at the time. A trans activist, Nicole fought against, and won, a human rights discrimination where she was barred, by her school, from using the female washroom and forced to use the staff washroom after a relative of a classmate complained. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the barring violated Nicole’s human rights and her family and her were awarded $75,000 in compensation.
The character Nia Nal is described as a “soulful woman with a fierce drive to protect others.” And as Nicole doesn’t seem to take things lying down, she fits the role perfectly. And this role is very much a new kind of Superhero as the transgender community have little or no representation within Sci-fi and I, for one, am glad that at last it has been given recognition and it really is a major deal after the history of transgender characters mainly being played by cisgender men. I personally think that we should all be able to live on this planet however we want and be whoever we want, so my hat is tipped to Nicole for being given the opportunity to take the leap of faith and pioneer a new course in the comic-book multiverse and hopefully she won’t be on her own and that there can be allowable room for more transgender characters in other sci-fi productions.