More than three months after his coming out captured global attention, Elliot Page is opening up further about his journey to embracing his authentic self.
The “Juno” and “Umbrella Academy” star sat down with Time for an emotional interview and photo essay unveiled this week, making him the magazine’s first transgender male cover star. He told journalist Katy Steinmetz that reactions to his announcement have been widely mixed, but that “letting myself fully become who I am” has been worth the scrutiny he has had to endure.
“What I was anticipating was a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia,” Page explained. “That’s essentially what happened.”
Still, at a time when hate crimes against transgender people and transphobic rhetoric are on the rise, the 34-year-old felt a deep responsibility to serve as a visible advocate for that community.
“My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today, and of course I want to use that privilege and platform to help in the ways I can,” he added. “Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric — every day you’re seeing our existence debated. Transgender people are so very real.”
Page also touched on his recent divorce from wife Emma Portner ― the couple actually separated last summer but only formalized the split in January ― as well as how his mother, the daughter of a minister, reacted to her son’s gender identity.
The actor also said his time spent in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic affected his decision to come out.
“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,” he said, naming Janet Mock and Laverne Cox as two of his personal inspirations.
One thing Page said he needn’t have been concerned about was the impact that living his truth would have on his career. The actor’s team has seen a renewal of interest in his work, including offers to direct and produce, as well as some “dude roles,” presumably referring to opportunities to play cisgender men.
“I’m really excited to act, now that I’m fully who I am, in this body,” he said. “No matter the challenges and difficult moments of this, nothing amounts to getting to feel how I feel now.”