Just a couple of weeks ago, Scarlett Johannsson stepped down from her role in “Rub and Tug” because she realized her playing a trans man was in poor taste (not unlike when she played an Asian woman, but I digress). I wasn’t surprised that Scarlett got cast in the first place, because, let’s be real, actual trans people are heavily under-represented in the film industry and often don’t even get casted to play actual trans people.
However, we’re starting to see that change. At San Diego’s Comic-Con this past weekend, it was confirmed that 21-year-old trans activist and actress, Nicole Maines, would be joining the fourth season of CW’s Supergirl.
Maines will be playing Nia Nal aka Dreamer, a superhero I’ve never heard of, but that’s far from the point.
Maines is a trans actress playing a trans character, but was quick to point out that being trans isn’t what the character is all about. She said:
[Nia is] a trans character whose storyline doesn’t revolve around her being trans, [emphasizing] that trans people have lives beyond their gender identity. Nia is so much more than ‘the trans superhero’. She is a reporter. She is hopeful. She is good. She is powerful. She is wise. She’s caring. She’s such a good friend. And I want Nia to be so many things before she’s trans.
Even with shows like Orange is the New Black, which features a trans actress playing a trans woman, the idea of being trans typically plays a crucial role to the character’s storyline (sometimes it needs to, of course), but it’s not often we get to see a trans character just be a regular character…who happens to be trans, so I think this is pretty cool! I mean, it’s not cool enough to make me start watching Supergirl, but it’s cool all the same.