Last year, Elliot Page came out as trans on social media which was celebrated and accepted by the majority of his fans. He wrote on social media: “I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.”
The actor was recently honoured at the LGBTQ film festival Outfest with the Outfest Annual Achievement Award for “his courage, advocacy and personal journey.” While receiving the coveted award on Sunday, Elliot Page shed some light on his personal experiences and the overwhelming obstacles in his way: “I for one know that without the various representation that I was able to stumble upon as a kid and a teenager — there was very little — I just don’t know if I would have made it. I don’t know if I would have made it through the moments of isolation and loneliness and shame and self-hatred that was so extreme and powerful and all-encompassing that you could hardly see out of it.”
Page also spoke about some of the cinematic influences on his own journey in the world of cinema, citing the 1999 satirical rom-com But I’m a Cheerleader as a major source of support. The film follows the volatile life of a high school cheerleader who is forced to attend a horrifying “conversion camp” just because she is a lesbian.
“And then, you know, at 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on But I’m a Cheerleader and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life,” Page added. “I almost think we don’t talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for.”
Adding, “It’s [Outfest] and organisations like yourself that are completely changing that and helping get stories out in the world that I know are reaching people in moments where they feel desperately alone and afraid and like they have no sense of community. And it offers somebody a lifeline. And I know that representation has done that for me.”