Elliot Page, an Oscar nominee, is the first transgender man to appear on the cover of Time magazine’s most recent issue. Page, 34, who was nominated for a number of awards for his role in the Oscar-winning indie film ‘Juno’ in 2007, came out as trans in December.
It’s the first interview Page, 34, has given since revealing his gender identity
In a heartfelt letter posted to Instagram in December, and he’s crying before I’ve even asked him a question. He smiles through his tears as he says, “Sorry, I’m going to be emotional, but that’s okay, right?”
He finds it difficult to speak about the days leading up to the revelation. He looks away when I ask how he’s doing, his neck highlighted by a new short haircut. He shuts his eyes and presses his hand to his heart after a brief pause. “A blend of genuine joy and profound appreciation for having made it to this stage in my life, combined with a lot of apprehension and anxiety,” he says.
At the age of 9, he was finally allowed to cut his hair short that gave him a sense of relief and an immense amount of joy. Page says, “I felt like a boy.” “I wanted to be a boy,” she says. “I’d ask my mother if I could be one day.” Page pictured himself as a boy in fantasy games as he grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, free of the embarrassment of how other people saw him: as a girl. Strangers eventually began seeing him the way he saw himself after the haircut, which felt both right and exciting.
After a few months, Page landed his first role in the TV movie Pit Pony, playing the daughter of a Canadian mining family. He wore a wig for the movie and grew his hair out again when Pit Pony became a TV show. Page says, “I became a professional actor at the age of ten.” And to follow his dream, he had to make a compromise. He said, “Of course, I had to present myself in a certain way.”
“I actually didn’t know myself. I couldn’t even look at a picture of myself for a long time ” he said. As a result, Page’s only option for feeling more at ease in his own skin was to undergo top surgery, which is a surgical operation that involves the removal of one’s breast tissue.
“It has absolutely changed my life,” he says of the treatment, noting that it is not available to all trans men and that it is very costly.
He had to come to terms with his gender identity as a result of the pandemic. “I had a lot of time on my own to really reflect on stuff that I think I was purposely avoiding in a lot of ways. I was finally able to accept my transgender identity and completely express myself ” he said.
Page, who charmed America as a precocious pregnant teenager in Juno, conjured up dreamscapes in Inception, and now stars in Netflix’s hit superhero series The Umbrella Academy, the third season of which he’s filming in Toronto, predicted both acclaim and vitriol in response to his announcement. Page says, “I was expecting a lot of love and support, as well as a lot of hate and transphobia.”
“That’s basically what happened.” What he didn’t anticipate was the magnitude of the story. Page’s announcement, which cemented his status as one of the world’s most well-known out trans people, quickly became a trending topic on Twitter in more than 20 countries. On that single day, he gained over 400,000 new Instagram followers. The number of likes and shares surpassed a million.
Casting directors contacted Page’s manager, saying it would be an honor to cast Page in their next big film. Right-wing podcasters prepared their rhetoric about “women in men’s locker rooms.”
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