Actor and trans icon Elliot Page used to ask his mum if he could be a boy from as young as nine-years-old.
Page came out as trans in December and has been a vocal advocate for the LGBT+ community for years. In his first interview since coming out, he told Time magazine that he didn’t exactly remember how long he had been asking about his gender identity, but he did start quite young.
He shared how he felt a sense of triumph and joy at being able to cut his hair short at the age of nine. Page revealed that, at that moment, he “felt like a boy”.
“I wanted to be a boy,” Page said. “I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”
He said strangers started perceiving him as the gender identity Elliot Page visualised for himself, but this joy was short-lived after he began his acting career. At the age of 10, Page landed a role playing the daughter in a Canadian TV movie, and he needed to wear a wig for the role.
When the movie was adapted into a TV series, Page said he had to grow his hair out, and that pursuing his passion came at the price of his gender expression. He explained: “Of course, I had to look a certain way.”
The actor, who made his breakthrough in Juno and has a starring role in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, told Time that he feels “true excitement and deep gratitude” to have made it to “this point in my life”. But he admitted these feelings were “mixed with a lot of fear and anxiety”.
Elliot Page said he expected “a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia” when he came out. He added: “That’s essentially what happened.”
But he admitted he didn’t anticipate how big his story would be and the widespread impact his coming out would have on others in the LGBT+ community.
In the posts on social media, Page said he was trans and non-binary, using he/them pronouns.
During the interview with Time for his cover feature, the actor repeatedly referred to himself as a “transgender guy” as well as non-binary and queer. But he said, for him, trans masculinity is at the centre of the conversation now.
“It’s a complicated journey and an ongoing process,” Page admitted.
He shared how there were “no examples” of trans men for Page to look up to while growing up in Halifax, Canada in the 1990s. But there is hope that Page will now be able to change that for future generations.
Elliot Page told Time that his “team” has seen more activity after he came out in December than they had in years. Time said many of the offers coming in – which range from actings, directing and producing – are trans-related, but there are some “dude roles” in the mix as well.