'Supergirl': Nicole Maines Talks How Nia's Transgender Identity Influences the Transformation Into Dreamer

For Nicole Maines' character Nia Nal, this season on Supergirl has been one of transformation. [...]

For Nicole Maines' character Nia Nal, this season on Supergirl has been one of transformation. Fans were first introduced to the character as a brand new CatCo employee, then saw her come more of a voice for the marginalized, opening up about being a transgender woman and then slowly begin her journey as a superhero when her precognitive dream powers manifested.

Now, in tonight's episode "Blood Memory" Nia will begin the next part of her transformation, into the superhero Dreamer and in an interview with TV Line, Maines explains that Nia's identity as a trans woman will inform her larger transformation into a superhero.

"Her hometown is very liberal, like an alien oasis, a place where humans and aliens have lived together long before Superman or any of the other storylines happened," Maines explains. "Growing up as a trans person, it was also a great place for Nia to be. Her family is very accepting and on board with everything."

However, even with a supportive and accepting family, Nia has been reluctant to come out with her superpowers to those closest to her because of another significant family dynamic -- the expectation that it will be Maeve, not Nia, who will inherit the gift.

"Nia has been carrying all this guilt over her dreaming powers that we haven't even known about," Maines said. "She's like, 'I've stolen something from my sister, and I don't know how to tell her.'"

That feeling like she's stolen her powers is something that is tied to gender identity and how the dream powers are passed on. As Nia explained to Kara and Brainy previously, the powers are passed matrilineally from mother to daughter, which explains why Maeve -- who is a cisgender female -- was expected by her whole family, including Nia, to inherit them. However, despite the difficulty this situation presents for Nia, Maines explained that she's glad Supergirl is finding a way to bring Nia's transgender identity into the discussion of her powers.

"[I hope] we get more moments of Nia bringing the trans community into the conversation," Maines said. "This season has mostly been about dealing with racism and xenophobia and immigration; I hope we get to bring more transphobia into the conversation."

What do you think about Nia's journey to becoming Dreamer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. "Blood Memory" airs tonight, January 27th.