At the Human Rights Campaign conference in early 2014, actress Ellen Page came out as a gay woman. Since then, she’s made a significant impact on the LGBTQ community as an advocate who wants to start important conversations about the issues surrounding this group of people. Yet, though her public coming-out speech started this meaningful journey for the actress, it wasn’t easy for Ellen to talk about this part of her life.
“You feel guilty for feeling bad. So you feel bad and then you feel guilty for feeling bad because you have so much privilege,” Page told The Off Camera Show. “You do something you love to do and people are like, ‘Yeah we’re gonna let you do that and we’re gonna give you money to do it.’ So you feel guilty, ya know?” Ellen added that this feeling was especially pronounced when she was hiding the fact that she was gay from the public while continuing to work and live life normally.
“Not existing in a relationship in the way you wish you could, in the way you wish you could when you see your straight friends existing. I would say [this feeling] probably just settled in more and more and more and like anything that’s toxic, it’s like a bucket, and it just starts filling and filling up … and then it pours over,” explained Ellen, adding that it got to the point where she felt sad and no longer felt inspired. “I felt like it was absolutely affecting my work because how are you gonna feel creatively motivated when you’re living in a way that’s not true?”
Ellen mainly felt guilty for feeling this way because she sees that she’s privileged, especially when compared to those in the LGBTQ community who are much more vulnerable than she is. Yet, that’s exactly why she felt the need to share her story with others, to make them feel less alone as she works to make a difference in any way she can.
Page concluded, “For me, personally – this is not necessarily for anyone else – it felt like a moral imperative to say, ‘Yes, I am gay. People are gay. There are gay people. Always have been. There will always continue to be. Let’s try to move this along.'”