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Transgender Youth Advocate and Hollywood Actress
Nicole Maines grew up in Portland, Maine with her brother, Jonas, her mother, Kelly and father, Wayne. When she was four-years-old she started telling her family and soon after her community and state who she was. Every step of the way she has worked with her classmates and community to be open and honest so everyone could learn and grow throughout the process. Unfortunately some people continued to fear the unknown. This fear impacted Nicole and her family’s ability to lead a normal life. These fears changed her world and her family’s world forever.
Because of this painful journey, Nicole has become a strong woman with a clear and loud voice for safety and equality. She has been recognized nationally for fighting to make sure transgender students have the same rights as their classmates. In January of 2014 the Maine’s Supreme Court ruled that Nicole’s rights had been violated under the state’s Human Rights Act, marking a historic and landmark victory for transgender rights in the U.S. It is the first time a state’s highest court has ruled that it is unlawful to deny transgender students access to the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
For her hard work and commitment Nicole was named one of Glamour Magazine’s 50 inspiring women of the year and was chosen to represent the state of Maine in the series “Hometown Heroes”, titled “50 Phenomenal Women of the Year Who Are Making a Difference.” She also was named one the 14 Most Fearless Teens Of 2014 for standing up against injustice.
The Maine ACLU, Equality Maine and Healthy Girls and Hardy Women have also recognized Nicole for her courage, strength and commitment to promoting change. When she was just thirteen years old she worked closely with GLAD, Equality Maine, the ACLU and the Maine Women’s Lobby to defeat LD 1046, a bill that would have rolled back transgender protections in Maine. Over two days, she talked with almost every state leader to help provide much needed education and encourage each member to continue to support the transgender community in Maine.
Nicole was featured in the book, Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family. It is a New York Times Bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book. It was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by People, one of the Best Books of the Year by Men’s Journal, and a Stonewall Honor Book in nonfiction.
In her first television role, Nicole was a guest star on “Royal Pains” on the USA Network, which won a GLAAD media award.
Nicole was one of 11 individuals featured in an HBO documentary titled The Trans List. In the documentary, Nicole relates her personal story of being transgender.
On July 21, 2018 at San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Nicole would join the cast of The CW series “Supergirl” as the first transgender superhero, Nia Nal / Dreamer. Nicole stayed with the series though its finale in 2021. In 2023 she will be reviving the character of Dreamer for the DC Universe in the ninth season of CW’s “The Flash.”
Nicole brought her Supergirl character, from the screen to comics in “Date Night,” written by Nicole and published in the DC Pride issue in June 2021. In June 2022 DC Comics revealed, that Nicole’s trans superhero Dreamer is getting an original graphic novel. In July 2022 , Nicole co-wrote an issue of DC’s Superman: Son of Kal-El #13.
Her film career growing, Nicole has now starred in two feature films. Her first film “Bit” is a horror movie about queer female vampires where Nicole plays Laurel, a girl who is turned into a vampire. Nicole won the top acting prize at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival for her performance. “Darby and the Dead” is Nicole’s latest film which began streaming on Hulu in late 2022. In “Darby and the Dead” Nicole plays Piper, a teenager who is granted the ability to see ghosts after suffering a near-death experience in her childhood.
In January 2023 Variety announced that Nicole has been added in a recurring role to the cast of Showtime’s award winning show “Yellowjackets” for Season 2. She will play Lisa, an associate of Adult Lottie.
Her performances are setting the stage for other transgender youth. It is her hope that she can combine these loves of advocacy and acting to help future LGBT students and adults gain total equality across the nation.
Categories: Actor, Campus, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Exclusive, Hollywood Celebrity, Inspiration, LGBTQ+, New to AEISpeakers, Social Justice, TED Talk