by Nikki Idelson ’22 A&E Staff
On April 30, Elliot Page, who is known for his roles in the films Juno and Inception, went on the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss his journey in coming to terms with his identity as transgender. This interview followed his coming out on Instagram on Dec. 1, 2020, when he said, “To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change the world for the better.”
There is growing violence against those within the trans community. According to the Human Rights Campaign, as of May 4, “Sadly, 2021 has already seen at least 19 transgender or gender nonconforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means.” However, “too often these stories go unreported—or misreported.” Page is one of the first well-known actors to openly identify as transgender, which has helped to inspire others to feel safe enough to openly identify with the LGBTQ+ community.
Page’s interview with Oprah Winfrey has helped others to see and come to terms with their own identity. According to CBS News, in an interview that was conducted by Time Magazine, “Elliot Page announced that he’d had top surgery.” He says that “he now feels more like himself and that little moments, like when he sees himself in a mirror, lead to ‘tears of joy.’” It is clear that by being able to come to terms with and share who he truly is with the world, Page now feels comfortable and can even celebrate himself as a person.
Page also talked about the gender norm pressures that he had faced following the release of the films that helped to set off his career. While filming Inception, he began to struggle with the pressure of gender norms. Page said, “My manager really believed that she was really doing the right thing for me and helping my career by encouraging the dresses, and the heels, and the sort of pressure to do that.” This pressure affected Page both emotionally and physically, as he would frequently have panic attacks. However, coming out for Page has been monumental and has allowed him to be his true, authentic self.
Coming to terms with his own identity allowed Page to connect his struggles to discrimination against transgender individuals in the healthcare system. At the end of the interview, according to CBS News, he brought up how “there is such an attack on trans health care right now, when already there is such a lack of access or trans people who don’t even want to go to the doctor.” As many who belong to the trans community have a lack of access to healthcare and this issue has not been talked about enough, it is clear that Page is helping to start a discussion to not only fight against this, but alongside many of the other inequalities that those who identify as trans face.