Elliot Page's first interview since coming out as transgender was a monumental one. In a digital cover for TIME magazine, the actor spoke with the kind of candour one might not usually expect regarding a topic so personal.
But this is exactly what Page wanted. Both controlling his own narrative and advocating for those who are in less proximity to privilege, the actor reveals that as personal and "selfish" as his journey is, advocating publicly for the trans community is something that he hopes will bring folks hope and safety.
“My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today,” Page tells TIME, “and of course I want to use that privilege and platform to help in the ways I can.”
As the interview details Page's journey with his identity, he discusses the intersection of his queerness with his trans identity, and how for a while, after coming out as queer in 2014, it provided only a fraction of relief from the dysphoria he was experiencing.
“The difference in how I felt before coming out as gay to after was massive,” says Page. “But did the discomfort in my body ever go away? No, no, no, no.” Ponting out that his journey is transient and nuanced, TIME reports, “He also calls himself nonbinary and queer, but for him, transmasculinity is at the center of the conversation right now. "it’s a complicated journey,” he says, “and an ongoing process.”"
A process that is as always, inextricably tied to access and discrimination towards transgender folks across the globe. For Page, his process included top surgery, information that TIME reports was offered up early in the conversation. Going on to report that Page "emphasises being trans isn’t all about surgery. For some people, it’s unnecessary. For others, it’s unaffordable." And that for him, it "has completely transformed my life.”
He tells TIME, urging the wider public to understand that for him, his surgery was “not only life-changing but lifesaving.”
As the world begins to have more of these conversations and LGBTQI+ youth feel safer in naming their identities (1.8% of Gen Z compared with 0.2% of boomers, according to TIME), it comes at the very same moment that hate crimes against trans people are surging, alongside transphobic rhetoric online fuelled by folks like J.K Rowling and right wing conservatives who are pedalling fears about a "transgender craze". For Page, his coming out was in part fuelled by a sense of responsibility to share his authenticity, “extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric—every day you’re seeing our existence debated,” he says. “Transgender people are so very real.”
Read more about Page's journey in the full TIME article, here.