Elliott Page has a hard time putting a time frame on how long he spent searching for a solution.
Whatever the reason, he remembers the rush of triumph he felt when he was finally allowed to cut his hair short when he was nine years old. His emotions are “like those of a toddler,” the page says. “I yearned for childhood innocence but lacked the tools to achieve it. It would be helpful if you could tell me if that’s something I can do in the near future.” Page, a native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, used to fantasize about being a young woman, unencumbered by the judgments of others, while playing make-believe. To see himself for the first time after the haircut was a liberating experience.
This happiness did not last. Page’s first TV role was as a child in the Canadian mining family in the show Pit Pony, which aired several months after the fact. Even though he sported a hairpiece for the film, he returned to his natural hairstyle when Pit Pony was picked up as a TV series. Page claims she had already become a seasoned performer by the time she was 10 years old. One had to make a tough sacrifice to obtain that energy. I knew I had to present myself in a certain way.
In late February, we plan to talk about this further. Page, 34, is crying before I’ve even asked him a question about being transgender; I’m the first person he’s met since coming out on Instagram in December. I know I’ll go crazy with joy, but that’s pretty cool, right? “He laughs in spite of his tears.
He has a hard time thinking back to the days before that realization. As I ask him how he is doing, his new short haircut reveals the back of his neck. After a moment of silence he presses his hand to his chest and closes his eyes. A sense of excitement and apprehension accompanied him to this point in his life.
It’s understandable that trans people in this day and age would experience internal tension. A recent Gallup poll found that while only 0.2% of members of Generation X and 0.4% of members of Generation Y identify as transgender, 1.8% of members of Generation Z do. In spite of this, traditionalists are now worried about a “transsexual fever.” Transgender actors have never had more opportunities to be seen on screen since President Biden restored their right to openly serve in the military. As members of Congress debate the veracity of sex types in the halls of power, J.K. Rowling is using her social funds to restrict transsexual justice in the name of women’s equality. Chase Strangio, head of transgender equity, believes that “sex has become a handy topic in the way of life battles,” and he’s not alone in this view.
As was to be expected, the news of Page’s impending arrival in Toronto, where he is filming the third season of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, was met with equal parts adoration and poison. “What I was anticipating was a ton of support and compassion and a massive amount of scorn and transphobia,” Page says. The events mirrored that description almost exactly. To him, this story seemed inconsequential. Since Page’s tweet about his transition went viral, he has become one of the most famous transgender people in the world. Around 400,000 of his Instagram followers joined on that one day alone. The sheer quantity of stuff available was mind-boggling. We received a deluge of support and offers. The phrase “ladies in men’s storage areas” has been used by traditional podcasters before. Casting directors contacted Page’s manager to express interest in having Page appear in their upcoming blockbuster.
Consequently, it was a fantastic bargain. Page will say that he is still in the process of getting to know himself and what interests him. It’s already challenging to come to terms with your sexuality, a trait that is both innate and learned, without having to constantly defend it. But Page has reached a crucial turning point and is well-versed in the needs he must meet in order to share his experience of the world with others. Page argues that “really powerful individuals are promoting these delusions and harmful ways of speech.” Those who identify as transgender are not a myth.
As a result of his time spent in Pit Pony, Page, then 16 years old, produced a video titled Mouth to Mouth. Page got another shot at shortening his locks for his role as a young rebel. There was even an instance where he shaved it down to nothing. Photos he has posted online from high school show him to be calm and collected despite the bullying he endured at the hands of his classmates. When Page first sent in a clip for the 2005 horror film Hard Candy, he had not yet shaved his head. They suggested he try out another rehearsal while wearing a hairpiece. After that, hair growth was rapid.
Two years after his breakthrough performance in Hard Candy, Page’s modestly budgeted indie film Juno brought him unexpected fame and nominations for an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe. The young artist was only 21 when she began to feel the weight of her newfound fame. Much more horrifying than the endless planning, red carpeting, and magazine coverage was seeing how the world viewed Page. “I just never thought of myself that way,” she says, as Page continues. For quite some time, “I couldn’t even look at a picture of myself.” Seeing his movies, especially the ones in which he played female roles, was also a challenge.
Page was frustrated by the industry norms of Hollywood despite his passion for filmmaking. Alia Shawkat, Juno’s co-star in Whip It, portrays her character’s introspection as a wrenching flashback. Says Shawkat, “he had a truly rough time with the press and preconceptions.” Shawkat. “”Here, do this!” (and) take a peek at that! As an added bonus, it looks great!”
Page felt ill, uneasy, and anxious while watching X-Men: The Last Stand, Inception, and other high-budget films. His main concern wasn’t how to tell people that “even though [I was] an entertainment, putting into a T-shirt cut for a lady would make me so sick,” as he put it. Shawkat analyzes Page’s history in the fashion industry. I’d say, “Hey, check out all these nice clothes you’re getting,” and he’d say, “It isn’t me.” It sounds like an orchestra, it looks like an orchestra, “According to her, Page tried to reassure himself that everything was fine and that someone who had been so fortunate as to submit it should not be worried. Even if that’s the case, the constant exhaustion he experienced on set made him seriously consider giving up acting.
Page came out as gay in 2014, after years of thinking that “coming out was unimaginable” due to his career. Even if two people have radically different sex personalities and sexual orientations, they can still live together peacefully. Page spoke passionately about the importance of working in an industry “that spots squashing norms” at a Human Rights Campaign event. For men, “there are inevitable stereotypes about manliness and gentility that describe how we are completely anticipated,” as Page put it. “No one uses them either,” she added.
The actor took a more respectable turn and started wearing suits. In 2018, he fell in love with a wedding choreographer he met online named Emma Portner. His films Freeheld and My Days of Mercy reveal a more methodical approach to filmmaking. In addition, he created a masculine anteroom from which he accepted assignments. Now I simply couldn’t take it any longer. Page says, “the difference between how I felt before and after was massive” when he came out as a homosexual. My physical symptoms of anxiety persisted, unfortunately.” Absolutely not.
Due in part to the isolation caused by the pandemic, Page’s sexual orientation became more openly discussed. (The previous summer, Page and Portner had retreated into their own worlds, and by mid-2021, they had broken up. To paraphrase Page: “We’ve remained close friends.” When he thinks back, he realizes that he was actually “keeping a strategic distance from” many people and places, which explains why he claims to have had so much time to himself. He found inspiration from trans icons like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox, who achieved fame in Hollywood while being themselves. In the journal Becoming a Man by a trans man named P. Carl, Page found a reflection of himself. Finally, “disgrace and discomfort” was offered as a means to disclosure. Page was at last willing to embrace her transgender identity and allow herself to fully express it.
Because of this, several choices had to be made. He goes by the name Elliot and says he’s always liked it. Page has the words “E.P. Telephone HOME” tattooed on her arm as a tribute to the film of the same name, which follows a troubled teen. As a kid, I was totally into E.T., and I always aspired to be as cool and carefree as the movie dudes “Moreover, he says. The alternative was to use a wider range of pronouns, including he/him and they/them. When I asked Page whether he had a preferred pronoun to use in this story, he said, “He/him is exceptional.”
A day prior to our first conversation, Page will share with his mom the words “just so happy for my child.” The daughter of the pastor, who was born in the ’50s, gets animated as her father tells the story, trying to get across the point that his mother did what she thought was best for her son, even if that meant encouraging a young Page to behave more like a girl. To which Page replies, “She needs me to be who I am and absolutely underpins me.” This situation may serve as illustrative evidence of the ways in which people do evolve over time.
Images of Page from when he was 5, 10, and 7 years old show him in his most respectful forms.
Getting medical attention was another choice. First, we discuss Page’s Instagram post where he revealed his secret identity while resting in Toronto. Being trans isn’t the end of the world, Page says, echoing the sentiments of many trans people.