If the name Nia Nal sounds familiar, it's because she is the ancestor of Nura Nal, the comic book character you might know best as Dream Girl, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
The casting is notable for the fact that Maines recently made news of another sort after suing to force the state of ME to allow transgenders the use of any public bathroom they wish to use at any given time.
TV's first transgender superhero is coming to the CW'sSupergirl.
"It seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to", Maines said.
"I haven't really wrapped my head around being a superhero, first of all, and then also being the first trans superhero on television", Maines tells Variety. "We've had trans representation in television for a while but it hasn't been the right representation". "It seems the flawless moment in our culture to introduce a trans female superhero". In the end, Maines just wants to serve the character. In January 2014, a ME court ruled in her favour that her elementary school violated state anti-discrimination law after it determined she should use the staff restroom instead of the girls' bathroom.
She added: "I think that cis gender actors don't take roles out of malice, it's just a failure to realize the context of having cis gender people play trans gender characters".
"We have straight people playing gay people all the time and that's because there isn't a larger conversation around - there's not so much harmful rhetoric flying around that they are parading around, dressing up, pretending", she said.
As for her acting career, she has appeared on USA Network's Royal Pains. "Having trans people play trans roles show that we are valid in our identities and we exist".
While there were reports a couple of months ago that Supergirl was casting a transgender character, yesterday's announcement made those reports a reality and helped the show break even more ground by casting Maines, who is herself a trans actress, in the role.
Starring Melissa Benoist as Kara Danvers, David Harewood as Martian Manhunter, Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen and Chyler Leigh as Alex Danver, Supergirl returns on a new night, Sunday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.