Elliot Page Opened Up About How Transitioning Actually Saved His Life

Getting top surgery, Page said, was "not only life-changing but lifesaving."

In his first interview since coming out as transgender in December 2020, Elliot Page told TIME on March 16th that finally making the transition had been a long time coming. At the age of 9, Page said he “felt like a boy. ” He told TIME, “I wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”

As a kid, he was able to cut his hair short and present in a way he felt comfortable. But once Page entered the world of acting at age 10, he was expected to present as feminine and as a girl. The roles in which he was cast including Juno and Inception shot him into stardom, but as someone he couldn’t recognize.

“For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself,” Page said, noting that this disconnect caused severe depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. “Just putting on a T-shirt cut for a woman would make me so unwell.”

In 2014, Page came out as gay, which caused a “massive” positive shift in his mental wellbeing. But the discomfort in his body was still very much still there. After years of reflection, education, reading, and watching trans icons like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock live their true identities in public, Page said, “I was finally able to embrace being transgender, and [am now] letting myself fully become who I am.”

Since coming out in late 2020, Page received top surgery, which he said was not only life-changing but lifesaving.

“This feeling of true excitement and deep gratitude to have made it to this point in my life,” he said of being able to come out, is “mixed with a lot of fear and anxiety.” Page told TIME, “What I was anticipating was a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia,” he said of coming out. “That’s essentially what happened.” 

And though he calls his decision to publicly come out as “selfish” (“It’s for me,” he said. “I want to live and be who I am.”), he realizes that having such a massive public platform is imperative in the fight for trans rights and equality for all. “My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today,” he said, “and of course I want to use that privilege and platform to help in the ways I can.”

“No matter the challenges and difficult moments of this,” Page said, “nothing amounts to getting to feel how I feel now.”

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