Being transgender is a superpower, at least according to Nicole Maines, the transgender activist turned actress starring in Supergirl as the first transgender superhero.
Maines is not an actress, but became well-known for a lawsuit she won “after her school refused to let her use the girls' bathroom.” After the lawsuit she was featured in the HBO documentary The Trans List that, according to HBO, “shines a light on prominent members of the transgender community.” Without the lawsuit and documentary she would not have grabbed hollywood’s attention and gotten this role.
In an interview during Comic Con after the announcement, Maines told Variety that she wants fans to “take away an understanding of trans people. That we can be anybody, we can be whoever we want, do whatever we want, that we can be superheros, because in many ways we are.”
Maines believes that being trans shouldn’t be the main focus of the story, saying that, “trans characters don’t have to be the trans character.” Except when they do: the marketing campaign sure seems pushing the transgender theme.
DC is using Maines to get people talking about their superhero franchise, instead of Marvel. And Maines is using DC to push her agenda. They’re Super Friends.