When Elliot Page announced to the world he was transgender yesterday, the star of Juno and The Umbrella Academy was both happy and apprehensive. While he felt liberated by living openly as the person he was meant to be, he also knew there were some in the world not ready to accept his gender identity. Luckily for Page, right there by his side was his choreographer wife, Emma Portner, ready to dropkick the bigots.
Noting that his joy was “real” but also “fragile,” Page explained his feelings of happiness were tempered by a very real fear about the response his revelation would bring from others.
“I’m scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the ‘jokes’, and of violence,” Page posted.
Portner was there throughout the process, saying she was “so proud” of her husband in a post on Instagram. She asked not just for “patience & privacy” but also the “fervent support of trans life every single day.” Portner went on to say Page’s life was “gift in and of itself.”
Not everyone shared Portner’s enlightened gratitude and acceptance, though, and it didn’t take long for the bigoted scum to rise to the virtual surface.
“But now you know you have a husband,” said one hater on Portner’s Instagram post. “I hope you are not a lesbian.”
Portner responded quickly and forcefully, putting the transphobic troll in their place.
“I hope you know my sexual preferences and gender identity are none of your business,” she wrote. “For me to decide, thank you. Release your labels of me. I am as fluid as can be.”
When the troll continued spewing ignorance and hate, others jumped into the fray explaining the basics of love and relationships.
“Emma loves [Elliot] because he is Elliot,” one astute poster responded. “Love is actually all that encompassing, and you seem like your life needs more of it.”
Some fans of the Netflix adaptation of The Umbrella Academy questioned whether Page’s announcement would trigger changes on the show. Would a new actor be cast in the role of Vanya Hargreeves? Would there be changes to the cisgender character’s gender identity? However, a source confirmed to Variety there are no plans to make any changes to Page’s character.
“Trans actors can and do play both trans and cisgender characters,” Nick Adams, director of transgender media at GLAAD, told Variety. “I’m sure Elliot will continue to be brilliant in Umbrella Academy and many different types of roles in the future.”