The CW’s Supergirl is casting a transgender character who will play a significant role in the DC Comics-based show’s upcoming fourth season. This news originates in a casting notice for a character called “Nia Nal”, a transgender woman in her early 20s. The character is being cast with open ethnicity, with no specific ethnic background.
Nia Nal is described as ‘a confident, wunderkind of a fashionista. Once a political speechwriter, Nia is the newest addition to the CatCo investigative reporting team. With her she brings sparkling wit and biting humor but under that banter-y, chic facade, lays a soulful young woman who has much to offer the world.’
Supergirl executive producer and writer Greg Berlanti pointed out the lack of transgender representation in the Arrowverse (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow) during an appearance earlier this year at the DC in D.C. Event.
Starring Melissa Benoist, Supergirl debuted in 2015 on CBS, but by season two it was moved to the CW network. After a few episodes at CW, Supergirl began introducing gay characters. In addition to being one of the still-rare superhero TV shows with a female protagonist, Supergirl features multiple female leads, an openly gay character in Kara Danvers’ adopted sister Alex, and even a female U.S. president. It’s certainly among the more inclusive comic book adaptations.
While transgender characters have been more common in television and film in the past several years, it remains rare for them to be played by trans actors. Trans women characters are still frequently played by cisgender men, including such prominent roles as Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent, Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl, and Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club. There is hope that Supergirl follows in the footsteps of Netflix series like Orange is the New Black and Sense8 (and upcoming shows like FX’s Pose) and casts an actual transgender woman in the role, rather than a cisgender actor.
Sky One airs the season three of Supergirl in the UK.
> Mar Martínez