Elliott Page Pens Essay About Joy Living As Trans Man, Says Transphobic Comedy ‘Breaks My Heart’
Elliot Page wrote an eclectic and vulnerable essay about his experience being one of the most famous transgender celebrities in the world. He took time to discuss close friends, share aspects of his childhood and even recommended some of the best books he’s been reading at the same time.
In the piece for Esquire, Page discusses the comfort he feels in his body now, struggles in his early career when he first found acting success, and the concerning increase of transphobia in media and politics recently.
While he took plenty of time to be vulnerable and discuss the dark aspects of being a public trans man, the beginning of the essay showed pure joy on Page’s part for being able to “look like myself” as he put it. Page further explained that he used to “feel this constant sensation to flee from my body, this never-ending sensation of anxiety and nervousness and wanting out.”
The actor also reflected on a childhood in Canada where he experienced bullying and moved schools frequently to never feel ingrained in the community. “If you’re getting teased and made fun of and called names on a daily basis, there’s no way that’s not going to get inside of you–particularly when you’re already feeling so much shame,” he eloquently wrote.
He also discussed some of his earliest struggles with gender came when he was an avid soccer player as a child, but eventually got placed on the girl’s team. He said, “They did let me play one more year, then I had to go to the girls’ team. I looked like the other boys, which I was.”
The actor also shared that the period of their Hollywood breakout with Juno was a time of intense gender dysphoria for him. “I was closeted, dressed in heels and the whole look–I wasn’t okay, and I didn’t know how to talk about that with anyone,” Page wrote.
A lifeline for him at this time was, surprisingly, Catherine Keener, who he said was “my oldest friend in L.A.” The Get Out star “taught me not to take bullshit, to keep my feet on the ground, to live my truth, and to take care of my heart.”
Page also reflected on the differing responses between him coming out as gay in 2014, and later as transgender in December of 2020. “Transphobia is just so, so, so extreme,” Page put it. “The hatred and cruelty is just so much more incessant.”
He also spoke about the current demonization of trans people particularly by right-wing political figures, saying “Everything that’s being said about us is the same sh–t that was said about LGB people: pedophiles, mentally ill, should they be allowed in changing rooms.” He said that the rhetoric has become “really alarming and hurtful. It’s also endless misinformation.”
Elliot had harsh words for comedians that are deciding to show off their transphobia for new special material. “It really breaks my heart,” Page began, while also adding that these comedians have hardly seen any repercussions. “When people say Cancel this. Cancel that. No, they got four more comedy specials and have a jillion followers!”
Page turned the buck around on those comedians, saying, “You are the ones who don’t want to have the conversation. You are the ones who are so sensitive, who can’t handle people saying, Hey, can you not do that?”
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