The first transgender superhero – a step forward for LGBT representation in comic book movies?

The Lady Boys of Bangkok are currently wowing audiences with their unique superpowers on the Wonder Women tour.

It comes as TV’s first transgender superhero was revealed this week, sparking conversations about the way these franchises are embracing LGBT. 

Actor Nicole Maines has been cast as Nia Nal – also known as Dreamer – in the fourth series of Supergirl, a character dubbed ‘a soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others’. 

Previously broadcast on Sky One in the UK, the show is based in the same universe as other DC comic franchises The Flash and Arrow. 

Nicole will be accompanying Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl on the show as an employee of CatCo Worldwide Media. However, Nicole has suggested Nia Nal’s plotline doesn’t need to, and won’t necessarily, revolve around her being trans. 

The actor, who is transgender herself, faced prejudice in 2014 when her school stopped her using the girls’ toilet. But Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled the educational institution had violated the state’s human right act. 

With the relationship between his female X-Men sidekicks Negasonic Warhead and Yukio portrayed on screen, the films have already made strides towards that, as Deadpool 2 was actually the first superhero film to show an LGBT couple.

Elsewhere, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow featured gay superheroes Citizen Cold (Wentworth Miller) and The Ray (Russell Tovey) sharing a kiss. 

The popularity of superhero franchises stays strong, but as the Spiderman comic says ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. Does this mean the message is finally coming home to movie execs about more diversity on screen, particularly in these big blockbusters? 
Which superhero series do you think would benefit from an LGBT makeover? 

For full tour dates for the Lady Boys of Bangkok Wonder Women tour click here


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