BY Nicola Paerg
The CW series “Supergirl” will introduce the first transgender superhero to TV.
Associated Press first reports that Nicole Maines, a transgender activist, has been cast to fill the role. Maines will join the existing cast of Melissa Benoit, Chyler Leigh, Katie McGrath, Mehcad Brooks, David Harewood, and Jeremy Jordan.
“I honestly didn’t know about this because I don’t watch the show, but I think it is a great thing. For many, it’s a very fresh topic to understand and I think exposure will help people grasp and understand that there is no difference between anyone of any gender,” said sophomore Carlos Ruiz.
“Supergirl” has been airing on the CW since 2015 and is currently in its third season.
Maines will portray the character Nia Nal, who is the superhero Dreamer.
“I have only seen a few episodes of the show, but I think that’s awesome that they’re introducing this new character,” said sophomore Katie Quinn, “You don’t see a lot of roles in film or television getting filled by transgender people. I think it’s great that they’re doing that to show more diversity among the cast.”
Others feel the same that representation of transgender people is a great idea, but see how it can bring controversy.
“I have never heard of this show, I think it’s a good idea,” said senior Nicole Maseroni, “I can see the benefits and value in creating a character that includes a diverse person. However, I can see how some people may not agree with it if it is exposed to younger kids and audiences.”
Maines won a discrimination lawsuit against Orono High School in 2011. She was denied the use of the female restroom due to her gender.
“CW is home to many of the television shows that I am interested in, said senior Jack Sullivan. “The Flash, Arrow and Supergirl all connect ties to the original comics but put their own twist to it. Supergirl’s transgender superhero appearance is just another addition to the franchise. They have a history of making statements with gay superheroes, so I am not surprised that they did this.”
Maines was nationally recognized for the victory of her lawsuit versus Orono. This was one of the first transgender restroom use lawsuits to gain national attention, as reported by Associated Press.
“I like that CW and DC comics did this, even if there is backlash coming from it. It’s TV and she’s playing a role. The role is her as a person and a superhero doing good for the world,” said Sullivan. “The CW is always sending out the message ‘Dare to Defy’, they want to defy the division of us versus the LGBT community. This is another step forward in that movement.”
Associated Press Contributed to this Article