In his first interview with Time Magazine since coming out as transgender last December, actor Elliot Page opened up about his childhood, his gender identity, and the political climate surrounding LGBTQ rights.
Page, who stars in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy and most famously received an Oscar nomination for Juno, came out as trans in a statement he shared on his social media platforms last year. “I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot,” Page wrote in his statement. “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.”
In an interview with Time‘s Katy Steinmetz, which marks the first time an openly transgender man has appeared on the cover of the publication, Page spoke about his gender identity and about his childhood growing up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and how, at the age of nine, he would beg his mother to cut his long hair. “I felt like a boy,” Page told the magazine. “I wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday.” After his mother finally relented, he was dismayed when he was cast on a TV show at the age of 10 that required him to grow his hair out long.
Page also spoke about how he struggled to watch himself with a more feminine appearance in films like Inception and Whip It, and how coming out as gay in 2014 did not alleviate his distress. “The difference in how I felt before coming out as gay to after was massive,” he said. “But did the discomfort in my body ever go away? No, no, no, no.”
The pandemic is in part what prompted him to decide to come out as transgender last year. “I was finally able to embrace being transgender and letting myself fully become who I am,” he said. Page also spoke about getting top surgery, saying it has “completely transformed [his] life.”
His decision to speak to Time about his gender identity was also inspired by the anti-transgender rhetoric in the political climate and news cycle, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene displaying a sign that said, “There are two genders: male and female” in front of her office. “Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric,” he told Time. “Every day you’re seeing our existence debated. Transgender people are so very real.”