Indian trans woman Shane Anthony Mills (Photo: Twitter) An Indian trans woman is seeking help from the government after Malaysia asked her to change the gender in her passport to ‘male’ before applying for a visa.
Shane Anthony Mills was scheduled to travel to represent India at a summit in Malaysia this month.
But, the Malaysian consulate in Chennai told the IT analyst, who is vocal about trans rights, that she could not apply under her passport’s current, third, gender.
’This is so embarrassing’ Shane Anthony Mills told Times of India . ‘To be told to go back and change my gender to “male” feels humiliating’.
In a landmark 2014 Supreme Court case, India recognized a third gender.
In South Asia, people regard a number of gender identities as a third gender. For example, ‘Hijra’ may have been assigned male at birth and live as women. Some also identify as trans or intersex or just as Hijra.
Shane Anthony Mills took to Twitter to ask India’s Minister of External Affairs to help. @SushmaSwaraj
Shane Anthony Mills I am transgender from Hyderabad. I work as senior analyst for Dell. I have been nominated for Global Erg summit at Penang Malaysia to be held on January 28th 2019. However I am unable to get Evisa it has no option for my gender. Please help — Shane Mills (@Shanemils18) January 18, 2019
Since Malaysia’s new government took power in May year, LGBTI residents have faced a conservative backlash .
Malaysia publicly caned two women for ‘attempting lesbian sex’. A number of government ministers and politicians have spoken out against the LGBTI community.
What gang of men beat a trans woman to death in December last year.
Malaysia’s Prime Minister, meanwhile, has said Malaysia ‘cannot accept’ LGBTI rights . He labeled them ‘Western’ values. India’s fight for trans rights
Trans Indians, meanwhile, have been fighting a government-led bill that is supposed to protect their rights.
Trans Indians and their allies have been urgently rallying against a transgender bill. They want a parliamentary committee in the Upper House to review the law.
India’s lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha, passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill last month.
But, the transgender community has slammed it. Activists describe it as ‘extremely problematic’.
Importantly, the bill denies the right to self identify. Officials or doctors would ‘inspect’ trans people before they could officially change gender, according to the bill.
The new law would also criminalize begging. Many trans Indians rely on begging as a livelihood.
Discrimination prevents them from mainstream education and workplaces. The new bill also has no provisions to encourage integration, they argue.
It also offers no extra protection for trans Indians. Currently, charges of stalking, sexual assault, and rape, apply only to cisgender women.
A former White House liaison to the LGBT community in the Obama administration has been named the new chief of PFLAG National, the organization announced Thursday.
Brian Bond, who was the first White House LGBT liaison during the Obama administration, is set to become executive director of PFLAG effective Feb. 1.
Kathy Godwin, board president of PFLAG, said she’s “thrilled” to welcome the veteran of the Obama administration, who also grew up in Missouri and was once chief of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
“He has a proven record of success unifying people across communities, building strong alliances and partnerships and working in challenging environments and moments to effect change,” Godwin said. “His personal story — as a young gay man raised in rural America — will resonate with so many people, including our supporters and members. I know Brian is the leader PFLAG needs to continue our work, and greatly expand our reach.”
Valerie Jarrett, former senior adviser to former President Obama, praised both Bond and PFLAG upon the announcement of his new position.
“During my time at the White House I saw firsthand PFLAG’s legacy of loving, affirming families and actively engaged allies at work,” Jarrett said. “PFLAGers are changing hearts and minds in every corner of our country in support of equality for the LGBTQ+ community. I also witnessed Brian Bond’s commitment to moving equality forward with passion, empathy, and humility. Brian’s skill set, collaborative leadership style, creative thought process, and ability to build bridges across diverse communities and life experiences will serve PFLAG well. I am thrilled that Brian Bond has been selected as PFLAG National’s next Executive Director during this pivotal and critical moment in time.”
PFLAG names Bond as executive director after its previous head Jaime Grant left the organization in March 2018 only six months into the job in a move that puzzled some LGBT activists. PFLAG has gone nearly a year without an executive director.
Aditi Hardikar, another former White House LGBT liasion, said in a statement upon the announcement of a new leader Bond “embodies leadership.”
“He has earned the trust and respect of diverse communities and coalitions over his lifetime because he has worked tirelessly to uplift people of all ages and backgrounds every step of the way,” Hardikar said. “I count myself in that category, first as his summer intern and later as his successor as the White House LGBT Liaison and a committed partner in the fight for equality and justice. PFLAG, already an effective and important organization, has gained a talented, humble, inclusive, and strategic leader in Brian — and I look forward to the scores more families and young people supported by this work with Brian at the helm.”
Security service MI5 , a bank and a fire brigade have been named among the best LGBT employers by an equality charity.
Law firm Pinsent Masons is said to be the best lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) employer in the UK.
MI5, Lloyds Banking Group and Cheshire fire and rescue were also praised by Stonewall, as well as a number of universities.
The charity’s annual list additionally includes the Welsh government and Newcastle city council.
Darren Towers, Stonewall’s executive director, said: “Stonewall was set up 30 years ago to fight against the introduction of Section 28, a vicious piece of legislation that banned local authorities from ‘promoting homosexuality’.
“To now see higher education institutions dominating the top 100 for the first time shows not just how far we’ve come, but also sends a really positive message for the future. Stonewall defends ‘vital’ LGBT children’s books after spate of ban attempts
Read more “LGBT-inclusive employers play a crucial role in changing society by using their power and influence to proudly support LGBT people in their organisations.
“Our number one employer of 2019, Pinsent Masons, is leading the way, championing lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality in the workplace.
“They know that helping staff feel that they can bring their full selves to work doesn’t just make a huge difference to individual team members – it makes real business sense too.”
Stonewall said its “senior champion of the year” is Jonathan Slater, permanent secretary at the Department for Education.
Laura Leavitt had a sneaking thought that her son, True Leavitt, was gay. Four years ago she started to get nervous because she knew how some members of her church spoke about the LGBTQ community.
“One day I thought, ‘God is bigger than this,’” Leavitt said. “Our church used to teach that being gay was a mistake. I knew that I needed to listen to my heart.”
Leavitt joined the organization Mama Dragons , a group of women members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who support their LGBTQ children. The group has grown to 2,500 moms worldwide and now includes members of other religions. Groups like this helped Leavitt learn to be inclusive.
“I asked True once if he could change being gay and he said ‘No,’” Leavitt said. “That answer made me very happy. I love all of True.”
Now she is trying to help others learn those listening skills. Drew Nash Times-News
Leavitt helped organize an event at the College of Southern Idaho’s Fine Arts Theater earlier this month that featured Richard Ostler, a former LDS bishop who formed a Latter-day Saint LGBTQ support organization called Listen, Learn & Love . He also hosts a podcast talking to LGBTQ LDS members and has traveled around giving talks about inclusivity in the church.
When Ostler served as a bishop in the church, there were a handful of lesbian and gay members in his congregation of young adults and he decided to listen instead of judge.
“I realized that all my opinions of the LGBT community came from straight people,” Ostler said. “I did a hard reset and said ‘From now on I’m going to learn about them from them.’”
His talks focus on his journey of understanding; he’ll tell stories that LGBTQ members have told him and he focuses on how to keep families together when someone leaves the church.
“I don’t try to persuade, but I want us to have a discussion,” Ostler said. “I think there is a need for dialogue. It’s not a polarizing event, it’s meant to bring people together.”
Ostler understands that local LDS leaders may be nervous about this subject, and the event was not sponsored by or officially affiliated with the church, but he assures that someone can be an LGBTQ ally and a member of the church in good standing.
“I think people, of all things, want to do good in this area,” Ostler said. “We don’t talk about it too much.”
Jen Blair, a member of the Twin Falls chapter of Mama Dragons, said there is still a lot of growth needed for the church to be inclusive. Drew Nash Times-News
“We have this idea that LGBTQ people are over here and Mormon people are over here,” Blair said. “There is a lot of trepidation on this subject. It’s hard to get people to go to events without official endorsement from the church.”
Laura Leavitt and her family hope the event will help others the way that listening has helped them.
“I think it’s good to talk about this stuff,” True Leavitt said. “I know I’m comfortable with who I am. I know I’m not subject to these extremes. But this can help people.”
Ostler concurs: “I learned everything by listening.” Digital Access for only $0.99
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MI5, a law firm, a fire brigade and the Welsh government are among the best LGBT employers in the UK, according to Stonewall.
Solicitors Pinsent Masons is number one in a list of the top 100 companies for 2019, says the LGBT charity.
Several universities, the British Army, Lloyds Bank and homeless charity St Mungo’s also feature.
Stonewall says LGBT-inclusive employers play a "crucial role in changing society".
Its executive director Darren Towers says Pinsent Mansons is "leading the way, championing lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality in the workplace".
"They know that helping staff feel that they can bring their full selves to work doesn’t just make a huge difference to individual team members – it makes real business sense too." ‘You’re happier, you stay longer’
Lawyer Finlay Fraser works for Pinsent Masons Stonewall says the law firm topped the list because of its inclusive policies, attitudes towards transgender staff and visitors, and involvement in campaigns – including marriage equality in Northern Ireland.
"When you are able to bring your whole self to work, you are more productive, you’re happier and you stay longer," says 27-year-old lawyer Finlay Fraser, who’s LGBT and works at Pinsent Masons.
"A goal for me is to be as authentic as I can be and I definitely feel like I am where I work."
Finlay believes the reason the company is number one is because of its diverse workforce and the support and understanding it has for its staff.
"A person who is LGBT and BAME is going to have a different experience than someone who is white and LGBT," he says.
"This company does a lot of work recognising that those two groups will have different experiences.
"It creates an environment where employees from diverse backgrounds want to work." ‘We’ve got rainbow flags flying’
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service came fourth last year but have now jumped to third As well as Pinsent Masons, the other companies which make the top five are Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, MI5, the National Assembly for Wales and law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.
Cheshire’s fire brigade – which is third – was recognised for its support networks and the work it does with LGBT people in the community.
"There are a lot of factors, particularly among older LGBT people that in theory put them at more risk of fire," says Mark Shone, who works in community safety.
"They’re more likely to live alone, perhaps have mental health issues, more likely to be affected by substance misuse and they’re all factors that make you at risk of fire.
"We’ve done a lot of work to trying to map where those people are and engage them in community safety." Does the pride flag need black and brown stripes?
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A 2018 survey by Stonewall found that more than a third of LGBT staff had hidden they were LGBT at work for fear of discrimination.
Darren Towers adds: "We know that people perform better when they can be themselves. They are more productive, creative and overall, morale is better.
"This is the kind of workforce employers should want and it happens when people are in a workplace where they feel supported and included."
Follow Newsbeat on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter .
Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra – if you miss us you can listen back here .
Bisexual veterans have lamented a lack of support that might result in a higher risk of depression. Recent research shed a light on the alarming reality of bisexual service members and veterans .
According to MedicalXPress , US service members and veterans who identify as bisexual may be at higher risk for mental health issues than their gay, lesbian or straight peers.
Bisexual individuals represent the largest segment of the LGBTI community. Interestingly, both bi men and women are overrepresented among those who have served in the military, MedicalXPress further reports. A lack in research on bisexual veterans
The research is led by Katie McNamara, a US Air Force captain and third-year doctoral student at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.
McNamara has identified a lack in research covering bisexual vets.
‘There’s quite a bit of research on military and veteran mental health and LGBTI health, but very little that combines the two. And before this project, there was absolutely nothing specifically focusing on the sexual minority subgroup of bisexual military-affiliated individuals,’ she explained.
McNamara teamed up with professors Jeremy Goldbach, Sara Kintzle and Carl Castro of the USC Military and Veterans Programs, as well as Air Force clinical social worker Carrie Lucas, PhD. Bisexuals are less likely to be out than their gay and lesbian peers
In terms of active duty service members, 2% of men identify as gay and 2% identify as bisexual. As for women, 7% identify as lesbian and 9% identify as bisexual.
Research also shows bisexuals (28%) are less likely to be out than gay (71%) and lesbian (77%) soldiers. This means they are less likely to have a community of like-minded individuals and allies to rely upon. Bis are at a higher risk for depression than gay, lesbian and straight people
McNamara believes there’s a connection between this lack of support and the mental health of bi vets.
Bisexual veterans, in fact, are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from severe depression. They are also 2.3 times more likely to suffer from PTSD than their straight peers.
Furthermore, bisexuals are also three times more likely to suffer from depression than their gay and lesbian peers. Research highlighted they’re nearly twice as likely to experience PTSD than gay and lesbian vets.
McNamara set out to conduct a thorough statistical analysis using a multi-city sample.
‘Even when I controlled for a wide range of specific demographic and military-related variables that might put some populations at higher risk for certain mental health issues, the results still indicated that bisexual veterans fare more poorly in terms of mental health outcomes,’ she said. Read also:
Robbie Short / CALmatters State Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and Assemblyman Evan Low of Campbell argue for a bill banning the advertising or sale of "gay conversion therapy" in 2018. By Elizabeth Castillo, CALmatters
When Sheila Kuehl of Santa Monica became California’s first openly gay or lesbian legislator in 1994, a cartoonist depicted the occasion.
The drawing’s first panel was “The gay and lesbian caucus goes to lunch.”
The second was “Kuehl, party of one.”
Two years later Carole Migden of San Francisco became the state’s second lesbian legislator, followed by Christine Kehoe of San Diego and Jackie Goldberg of Los Angeles. The four had dinner at least once a month at Goldberg’s house. And after the 2002 addition of legislators Mark Leno of San Francisco and John Laird of Santa Cruz, the group formed an official LGBT caucus .
A quarter-century after Kuehl’s election made history, the caucus numbers seven and has chalked up hard-fought legislative victories—and a to-do list for the future. All its members are Democrats; no openly gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans Republican has ever won a seat in the Legislature.
“You don’t get any respect unless you’re in the room where it happens,” Kuehl said. “And that is symbolic sometimes but it is noticed by society—because you’re making policy for your community as well as for everybody else.”
California’s Legislature has become more diverse over the years, although as CALmatters’ Legislators: Just Like You? interactive demonstrates, it still falls well short of being an accurate demographic reflection of California. Latinos, Asian-Americans and particularly women are under-represented compared to their share of the state adult population.
But the LGBT caucus closely mirrors the state: Nearly 5 percent of Californians are LGBT, according to UCLA Law’s Williams Institute, while just under 6 percent of California legislators are openly lesbian, gay or bisexual. The Senate president pro tem, Democrat Toni Atkins of San Diego, is the first lesbian to lead the chamber. And although the caucus dropped by one this year, it’s because former state Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat from Bell Gardens, became the first gay statewide office-holder when he was elected insurance commissioner.
Critics of a deliberate emphasis on diversity often contend that lawmakers’ personal traits don’t, or shouldn’t, affect what issues they carry or how they vote—in short, that legislating shouldn’t be personal.
“How can they say it’s not personal?”
It’s an argument that LGBT legislators have confronted repeatedly. Case in point: the bitter fight in 2001 over passage of a bill creating domestic partners status for the state’s same-sex couples. Majority Floor Leader Kevin Shelley addressed the Assembly about Migden, its sponsor and his San Francisco colleague.
“We all know how tough she is. She’s real tough. You don’t wanna mess with her,” he began. “I went outside with Ms. Migden and she was doubled over in pain—emotional pain—and in tears, and said to me and to others nearby ‘How can they say it’s not about me? How can they say it’s not personal?’
“And so I say to all of you on behalf of my friend Carole, who I know will not say it for herself because she doesn’t want it to be personal in how she articulates the debate. It is personal….And the vote today should be personal for all of us.”
Arguing in favor of the same bill, Goldberg spoke through tears about her partner and their son: “We are a family. There is nothing any of you can say or do that makes us any less a family. But what you can do is make it harder for my family to survive.”
Since passage of that bill, the California LGBT caucus has successfully sponsored: A 2003 act expanding to same-sex couples most of the rights and responsibilities that heterosexual spouses already had, such as parental status for a child born during a relationship and access to divorce courts.
Leno’s 2003 act protecting transgender people and those perceived as transgender against discrimination when renting an apartment or looking for a job.
Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s 2018 law giving foster children access to health care that affirms their gender with medical interventions such as hormone treatment. The healthcare must be available by 2020.
A new law co-sponsored by Atkins that allows non-binary people applying for a driver’s license or ID card to mark “X” in addition to “M” for male or “F” for female. (One Californian has already shared the experience of changing their driver’s license.)
So what’s still on the caucus wish list?
Members and advocacy groups plan to advance bills that would provide “cultural competency” training to help teachers build safer and more inclusive learning environments for LGBT students in public schools. Former Gov. Jerry Brown previously vetoed a version of that bill , although a similar one to train law enforcement officers was signed into law .
The caucus also wants another crack at limiting the practice of conversion therapy , the practice of attempting to alter an individual’s sexual orientation through methods such as counseling and prayer.
And it’s still personal. Arguing for his bill to regard conversion therapy as consumer fraud in last year’s session, former Campbell mayor-turned-Assemblyman Evan Low said “You’ve heard testimony about suicidal thoughts, I have also had that. As mayor (in 2010) I could officiate a wedding but couldn’t get married myself.”
But questions were raised about whether the bill would violate the First Amendment rights of therapists. Although proponents insisted it was neutral on religion because it impacted all consumer transactions, Low pulled the bill in what he described as a gesture of good faith to seek common ground.
“The evangelical community is not monolithic, they’re not one in the same,” he said. “So are there certain people who you could change their hearts and mind? Yeah, absolutely. And that’s where I’m working, that’s where I’m spending my energy.”
His approach won Low points with some opponents.
“To his credit, he actually went around and listened to a lot of various pastors who told him ‘why are you attacking us?’” said Greg Burt of the California Family Council. “So I think he realized it would be better to try and persuade a chunk of them to come his way than to simply outlaw what they were doing.”
Opponents of the caucus’ agenda insist there should be room in California politics for people or religious organizations that take a different view—and that the LGBT caucus too often advocates ideas that impede on religious freedom.
They cite a bill that would have allowed transgender and gay students to more easily sue private religious universities who violated the school’s sexual conduct rules and faced reprisals up to and including expulsion. The bill was enacted only after that specific provision was removed following tremendous pushback from religious universities. Another law barred employees at long-term healthcare facilities from purposefully not calling patients by their preferred gender pronouns.
“They are seeking to go after organizations that disagree,” Burt said. “That’s what tolerance is all about. We tolerate those who disagree.” The missing voices: Trans and bisexual Californians—and Republicans
Unlike Virginia and Colorado , California has never had an openly bisexual or trans legislator.
“Until there are at least a couple of transgender folks in the Legislature, I don’t know that we’re going to understand the experience well enough to know what’s missing in the law,” Kuehl said. “I do know that there’s a lot of violence against transgender women, and I don’t know if there’s enough protection.”
As for the absence of an openly gay Republican in the Legislature, former GOP Sen. Roy Ashburn said he’s not surprised, but he expects that will change. “There’s still a lot of people in hiding,” he said, “and I’m hopeful that people will be more accepting and loving and it won’t be necessary for people to do what I did in the future.”
No longer a Republican, Ashburn said he regrets votes he cast against ensuring more rights for LGBT individuals. After his arrest for driving under the influence in 2010, he acknowledged in an interview with a radio station in his Bakersfield district that he was gay—saying he felt compelled to address rumors that he had visited a gay nightclub that evening. “I did not live an authentic life,” he said. “ I hurt people who were adversely affected by the votes that I cast.”
Sometimes differences can be forged. Low and Biola University President Barry H. Corey were at odds over a 2016 bill that sought to prohibit any school participating in the Cal Grant Program from discriminating against a student or employee on the basis of a protected class like sexual orientation.
The bill didn’t pass, but the two foes became friends, so much so that they published what they learned in a joint Washington Post piece .
“It’s amazing how quickly biases can be overcome,” they wrote, “…when you realize the person you once thought an adversary is in many ways like you, with a story and passions and fears, and a hope that we can make the world a better place.”
To Low, that’s also why the LGBT Caucus is still needed. He said after working with the caucus, people can gain a new perspective—recognizing that LGBT individuals are not “mythical creatures on TV” but are just like everyone else.
“So that’s where I think it changes people,” he said. “If we’re not there, then people won’t understand.”
CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.
Just Like Us will launch the Thanet hub this month Just Like Us,the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity for young people, is launching a new initiative in Thanet.
The hub is funded by The People’s Postcode Trust and is for LGBT young people aged 18-25. It will be a safe and fun space for LGBT young people to socialise twice a month. The format and venue of each session will vary, whether drop-in sessions to make new friends, workshops on coming out or planning this year’s Pride parade.
Those attending will also benefit from employability training and mentoring in London from the charity’s corporate partners, alongside volunteering opportunities to work with local schools to tackle prejudice.
One new member from Thanet said: “From what I know, there is no support for young adults in Thanet. I moved away from Thanet to study at university where I joined the LGBT+ society and I’ve made lifelong friends from it. “Coming back home has been hard, but this group will hopefully help lift the weight off, even if only for an hour. We deserve a place to be ourselves, share our stories, figure out who we are and just be, with others like us”
The Hub will also help to address the potentially life-long consequences a lack of support can have on young people’s well-being and achievement. LGBT young people are four times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers, and more than half say homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying has a negative impact on their future education plans.
Margate Pride organiser Amy Redmond said: “ We were very excited to hear Just Like Us are bringing their ace work to Thanet. The community, social, sharing and togetherness of groups like this are essential for Thanet’s next generation to grow up comfortable and proud of who they are. We are over the moon with pride that this is happening in town.” Photo Frank Leppard Just Like Us CEO, Tim Ramsey added:“We’re incredibly excited to launch our Just Like Us Hub in Thanet. I know the transformational impact a group like this would have had on me growing up; it would have given me hope that being gay would not be the worst part of my life, but something to celebrate. We’re excited to meet this new group of young people and support and empower them to be confident in their identity.”
The Hub will be launching on Thursday, January 31, at The Tom Thumb Theatre in Cliftonville with a free pizza night and screening of Love Simon, the acclaimed coming out movie of 2018.
LGBT young people in Thanet can find out more about getting involved by visiting www.justlikeus.org/events .
Can you ever be too young to realise you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender? Is there a right time to come out as LGBT?
In a new episode of PinkNews series Ask the Aunties , our fabulous queer agony aunts answer your LGBT-related dilemmas.
Queer agony aunts Lee Gray and Karnage Kills respond to a dilemma sent in anonymously by a reader worried about whether there is ever a good time to come out as transgender or non-binary. When do most people realise they’re LGBT and is there such a thing as being too young or too old? Is there a right age to come out as LGBT? How old should you be?
The anonymous dilemma to the Aunties said: “Do you think you can ever be too young to realise you are trans or non-binary?” Ask the Aunties: Their response
Lee said: “I would probably say no–obviously I’m a cisgender man so I’ve never had that experience but speaking to people who are trans and non-binary and are friends of mine, I would say the answer is no.
“Everybody has their own journey. Some people might identify as trans and non-binary at a very early age and some might identify very late. “You’re never too young or too old to have a self-realisation moment.”
“But I don’t think you can ever be too young.”
Karnage agreed, adding that parents should allow children to express their gender in whatever ways they feel comfortable.
He said: “I was always thankful of that, my mum never did that to me.
“I don’t think we should suppress anybody. Children should be able to express themselves, I just think it makes for a happier individual.
“You’re never too young or too old to have a self-realisation moment and think: ‘This is who I am.’” Watch the video above to see all of the Aunties’ stories and advice
Ask the Aunties is an original PinkNews series. From dating to telling your pals your pronouns , no dilemma is left unanswered.
The previous episode answered a dilemma from a young person considering coming out .
Subscribe to PinkNews on YouTube so you never miss an episode.
Nicole Maines as Dreamer/Nai Nal | Photo: Instagram After a six-month wait, the first trans superhero is finally ready to dive into action.
The first images of comic book character Nia Nal, also known as Dreamer, have been released by series CW.
The landmark role will be played by 21-year-old trans woman, Nicole Maines .
Dreamer will make her first appearance on the Supergirl episode due to air on 27 January.
The episode will see the young reporter and soon-to-be superhero traveling to her home town for a local festival, delving into the character’s backstory. ‘Beyond thrilled’
Maines, who is also a trans rights activist, was confirmed for the role in July .
The announcement of the role and casting was praised by many in the LGBTI community.
Producers described the character as a ‘soulful young transgender woman with a fierce drive to protect others’.
Maines said she was ‘beyond thrilled’ at being chosen for the role, adding that, ‘[it] seems only fitting that we have a trans superhero for trans kids to look up to.’
The actress came to public attention in 2014 after a state court’s ruling on a dispute with her elementary school.
The state’s highest court found in favor of Maines, ruling that school officials had violated state anti-discrimination laws by banning her from using the girls’ bathroom. In good company
Maines’ character will exist in the same universe as DC superheroes, The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl.
Last year also saw CW introducing another first: gay superhero Batwoman, played by lesbian and genderfluid actress Ruby Rose.
Rose made her debut as Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, in December 2018 in CW’s three-part superhero crossover ‘Elseworlds’.
Rose hailed her role as a win for the LGBTI community .
‘I can’t speak on behalf of everyone in the LGBTIQ community, but I know any win for anyone in our community is a win for all,’ Rose said earlier last year.