If you only know Ellen Page the actress, allow us to introduce you to Ellen Page, the kick-ass-activist. Small but mighty, Page has fought (and continues to fight) for a number of causes dear to her heart — which only makes her more dear to OUR hearts. She’s naturally passionate about LGBTQ issues, of course, but did you know she’s also stood up for victims of sexual harassment, is pro-choice, and fought against abuse of military power? Moreover, she refuses to play the Hollywood game, and her authenticity is what makes her one of the most likable actors working today.
So let’s celebrate this amazing woman! Here are 8 times she made us proud.
When she came out.
Ellen took a page from that other Ellen’s book by teasing her coming-out before it happened. In 2008, she only wanted to “hug another woman with my legs in friendship” on an SNL skit that made some people wonder about her orientation. She came out proper in 2014, declaring she was a lesbian at the Human Rights Campaign foundation’s very first Time to THRIVE conference, a gift of love to herself and us– on Valentine’s Day no less. In under nine minutes, she talked about the tough beauty standards and pressure to be successful in Hollywood; about a cruel publication that mocked her appearance; how she “suffered for years because I was scared to be out.” She also challenged the “rules” of masculinity and femininity, highlighted the work the Human Rights Campaign Foundation does, and discussed the bullying queer kids go through on a regular basis. It is a beautiful moment to watch — Page finally getting to be herself. “I am here today because I am gay and because maybe I can make a difference,” she said, “to help others have an easier and more hopeful time.”
When she spoke out against Brett Ratner and Woody Allen.
On November, 10, 2017, Ellen took to Facebook with a post that unveiled the dark side of Hollywood. “You should f*** her to make her realize she’s gay,” she recalled X Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner saying to her, about another actress. “I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He ‘outed’ me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic.”
Around the same time that she posted that, six other women said they had suffered through Ratner’s misconduct and harassment. She had also worked on Woody Allen’s film “To Rome With Love,” which she called “the biggest regret of my career. I am ashamed I did this. I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because ‘of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.’ Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice. I made an awful mistake.”
When she got married.
While we are sad AF that Ellen is off the market, she really had us in our feels with that unexpected announcement of her marriage to dancer Emma Portner. The two tied the knot early this year and then announced it to the world on Instagram with beautiful photos of their rings and the two of them locked in a touching embrace. “Can’t believe I get to call this extraordinary woman my wife,” Page gushed. “@EllenPage I LOVE YOU,” Portner commented on her own Instagram. It was a full-circle moment for the two, who met via Portner’s Instagram. And while a celebrity marriage might seem like a shallow thing (not to us!), it is very powerful for LGBTQ youth to see a lesbian couple in the spotlight. We’re so happy, too, that Ellen has gone from feeling like she had to be closeted to being able to scream her love from the rooftops.
When she spoke about being pro-choice.
Ellen’s feminism includes supporting teens having access to Plan B, being pro-choice, and questioning why students are not assigned more women authors in class. She has pointed out the ridiculousness of white men being able to tell women what to do with their bodies and shed a light on how frightening it would be to go back in time to when abortions were illegal. “Feminism always gets associated with being a radical movement – good,” she told The Guardian. “It should be.”
When she decided we needed to know more about queer life in other countries.
In 2016, Viceland debuted the travel show Gaycation, hosted by Ellen and Ian Daniel, her best friend. It gives viewers the chance to see queer life in various countries from the Ukraine to France to America. The stories have ranged from a visit to the tiniest gay bar in the world in Japan to the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy. She even challenged then-presidential candidate Ted Cruz on one episode about firing gay and trans people, and spoke with Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro, a proponent of corporal punishment for gay kids. The Congressman said Page would not “turn me into a homo.” To that, she replied, “I want gay people who are suffering and in the closet and suicidal to be OK and to love who they are. But I don’t want people who aren’t gay to be gay. Except maybe Kate Winslet.” “I’m laughing and I don’t know what she said,” Bolsonaro said. And we’re smiling because WE SO DO.
When she addressed despicable conditions in Burma.
Ellen has been political from a young age. In 2008, at only 21, she joined other celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Sylvester Stallone for a campaign that shed light on Burma’s terrible military leadership. She specifically called out Than Shwe for being the modern-day equivalent to Hitler, flying dangerously under our radar. She rattled off a list of his terrible acts — “ethnic cleansing, labor camps, torture, systematic rape.” Her video was short, but it got the message across, and perhaps made more folks sit up and take notice. Shwe ultimately left the military and his roles as leader of state and government in 2011.
When she joined Time’s Up.
Time’s up on silence. Time’s up on waiting. Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment and abuse. #TimesUp Sign the solidarity letter & donate to the @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund: https://t.co/nhagdfGvVd pic.twitter.com/jUfFy4d04S
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) January 1, 2018
Ellen started out the new year in a powerful way by issuing this tweet: “Time’s up on silence. Time’s up on waiting. Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment and abuse. #TimesUp Sign the solidarity letter & donate to the @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund.” She was one of 300 women to join the movement, devoted to creating a workspace that upholds the dignity of all female employees.
When she took a stand against bullying.
This is awful. Sending love to this family. https://t.co/yEtQUVz4LO
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) August 28, 2018
On August 27, she retweeted a tweet from Josh Gad about a young boy who had killed himself after telling his family he was going to come out at school. “This is awful. Sending love to this family,” she wrote and then added, in the next tweet, “Don’t be a fucking bully. Don’t raise your kids to be bullies. This shit is heartbreaking and preventable.” Following the Pulse nightclub tragedy, Ellen was on Chelsea Handler’s Netflix show and said, “The reality is that violence towards LGBT people is a common thing. Hate crimes towards LGBT people. Extremely anti-gay, anti-bi, anti-trans rhetoric that is constantly creating a poisonous environment which leads to people hating themselves, people being violent towards one another, to bullying, to abuse, and it really needs to stop.”
Impressive, no? And there’s so much we didn’t get to cover, like the way she rocks the hell out of a tux, how she lovingly promotes her wife on Twitter, the fact that she can also play guitar and sing, the way she melts our heart when she poses with puppies, that she gives us so much hope during these dark political days. Love you Ellen!