Nicole Maines made television history when she joined the cast of The CW’s Supergirl as the first transgender superhero. Now, she’s calling for more evolved roles for trans characters, according to a report from Variety.
Maines has played the role of Nia Nal/Dreamer for the past two seasons of the show and has helped provide a beautiful and positive example of transgender people. But despite the progress made, the actress told Variety there is much more room for that representation to grow on-screen. While chatting with the publication as part of the magazine’s Power of Pride list, she advocated for the industry to get to a place where transgender characters are portrayed in more imperfect and complex roles like cisgender characters often are.
“I think it’s that more and more trans characters [can] be less than perfect and be a**holes and be the villains,” Maines said. “We can look at them, and be like, ‘They’re just people. They make poor choices. They can be bad people. They can be not nice.’ Trans-ness is not a person. A person is not identified by their trans-ness.”
She went on to discuss the character of Dreamer, who struggled with rage and hurt after learning that her roommate was beaten and bruised by a transphobic man posing as a suitor on a dating app. Dreamer’s anger was so intense, she orchestrated a plan to kill the attacker. Maines said her character has grown tremendously and she is no longer afraid to reveal any flaws that may be lingering below the surface.
“When I first started playing Nia, I was really nervous to kind of show her in any way that wasn’t favorable,” she admitted. “I was very nervous to show her making poor choices or have her react poorly to something. I needed her to be a success. I needed Dreamer and Nia to be untouchable.”
Maines joined the fourth season as a new employee at CatCo Worldwide Media. At the time, her character was described as a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
When the actress isn’t fighting crime on Supergirl, she’s working on other projects. She recently starred in a queer indie vampire film called Bit, where she played the role of Laurel, a new vampire who’s trying to adjust to her new life while learning her friends might not be who they say they are.