The 'Umbrella Academy' actor said he feels the 'greatest joy' for being able to feel present.
Elliot Page says the joy of simply existing feels euphoric to the actor, after transitioning in 2020. The actor spoke to Esquire magazine ahead of Pride Month and discussed his emotions about coming out as transgender in December 2020. “I can’t overstate the biggest joy, which is really seeing yourself," he said, adding that he is finally finding himself after all these years. "I know I look different to others, but to me, I’m just starting to look like myself." He said the experience of finding his true self was one of the greatest joys he felt. "I’m just like, there I am. And thank God. Here I am. So the greatest joy is just being able to feel present, literally, just to be present,” he said.
He recalled being boxed in and categorized after being forced to grow up as a girl who was born to a mother who was a minister’s daughter. He said he wanted to continue playing football on the boy's football team. “I was crying to my mum, ‘Please, one more year, one more year!’” he recalled. He was then made to play with the girls and he lost interest. Page said he knew he was a boy since he was a toddler. "All trans people are so different, and my story's absolutely just my story. But yes, when I was a little kid, absolutely, 100%, I was a boy," said the 34-year-old actor in an interview with Vanity Fair. "I knew I was a boy when I was a toddler. I was writing fake love letters and signing them 'Jason.' Every little aspect of my life, that is who I was, who I am, and who I knew myself to be," he added. He recalls being constantly reminded that he was not a boy. "I just couldn't understand when I'd be told, 'No, you're not. No, you can't be that when you're older,'" said Page. "You feel it. Now I'm finally getting myself back to feeling like who I am, and it's so beautiful and extraordinary, and there's a grief to it in a way," said Page.
Page also discussed rampant transphobia that makes it harder to trans people to simply exist. "Transphobia is just so, so, so extreme. The hatred and the cruelty is so much more incessant," said Page. He also recalled the time a man hurled homophobic slurs at him before shouting, "This is why I need a gun!” Page walked away. When asked what it felt like to live as his true self, he responded, "For me, euphoria is simply the act of waking up, making my coffee, and sitting down with a book and being able to read," he said. "I know that may sound strange, but I can’t stress enough the degree of discomfort and struggle that I was experiencing that got in the way of everything. How could it not?"
Page fought a long battle to finally come out as trans and is aware of the privilege he enjoys as a movie star. He has long fought and voiced his opinion for the LGBTQIA+ community, and said he is deeply hurt by the concerted efforts to strip transgender people of their health care rights in various states. "I feel emerging joy and excitement one moment, and then in the next, profound sadness reading about people wanting to take gender-affirming health care away from children. I feel so grateful to be at this place in my life, and I want to use the strength I have to help in all the ways that I can. The reason you and I have the privileges we have is because people have sacrificed so much for so, so, so long and put everything on the line."
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