Last year The Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page came out as trans. While they later thanked fans for support and rung the alarm bells on transphobic legislation being considered, Page hasn't made many public statements. Now, in a new cover story for Time, Page is opening up.
“What I was anticipating was a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia,” Page explained of their expectations for how the public would react to the announcement he was trans. “That’s essentially what happened.”
While the announcement may have come as a surprise to some, Page has known since they were young that they were trans. In the cover story, he recalled his exhilaration as a nine-year-old growing up in Nova Scotia, Canada, when he was allowed a short haircut.
“I felt like a boy,” Page said, revealing the weighty significance of the event. “I wanted to be a boy.” But starting a career in entertainment at age 10, the young performer was forced into wigs and growing out his hair, appealing to traditional expectations. This lasted throughout his career, becoming more pronounced at major moments like in the press tour for Juno. The global pandemic and resulting shutdown provided Page the solitude he needed to come to terms withhis identity, something they admit they were avoiding.
“I had a lot of time on my own to really focus on things that I think, in so many ways, unconsciously, I was avoiding,” Page admitted.
Page famously came out as trans in a stunning and heartfelt post to social media last year. They later thanked fans and released a first selfie shortly after the announcement, showing Page wearing a hoodie and glasses. At the time, according to the cover story, Page was recovering from top surgery in Toronto.
Long a vocal activist for LGBTQ+ rights, Page has become an active opponent of transphobic legislation being used by Republicans at a local level to fire up their base. Some of that those laws seek to ban treatment for trans youth. As Page noted, many times surgery can be “not only life-changing but lifesaving.”
With the public announcement out of the way, Page said they were focusing on using their platform and privilege to dispel much of the “myths and damaging rhetoric” aimed at the transgender community, Page made clear trans people know who they are even if the bigots refuse to accept their truth.
“We know who we are,” Page said, explaining how people “cling” to their notions about gender “because it makes people feel safe. But if we could just celebrate all the wonderful complexities of people, the world would be such a better place.”
Page revealed they are looking forward to exploring the new spectrum of roles awaiting the talented actor.
“I’m really excited to act, now that I’m fully who I am, in this body,” Pagesaid“No matter the challenges and difficult moments of this, nothing amounts to getting to feel how I feel now.”