On Tuesday, Elliot Page —the actor best known for his roles in “Juno,” “Inception,” and Netflix’s “Umbrella Academy” — came out as transgender. In a series of simultaneous posts across social media, Elliot wrote: “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.” Eliot uses he/they pronouns.
— Elliot Page (@TheElliotPage) December 1, 2020
In his roles, Page has often played tomboys confronting contradictory expectations of gender in a world where the old rules suddenly change. In “Juno,” that change comes when his character discovers she is pregnant. In Inception the world literally turns on its side, instigating a surreal crime-caper. And in “Umbrella Academy,” the quiet Vanya is one of many adopted siblings and the only one without superpowers. While her siblings are tasked with saving the day, it is Vanya who inadvertently ends the world.
In each of these roles, Elliot’s characters awkwardly bumble through the strange situations with a kind of gooselike grace. They stumble and grope and ask a lot questions while maintaining a bungling style of joy.
“I also ask for patience,” Page writes. “My joy is real, but it also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. Scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the ‘jokes’ and of violence.”
These are things that surround us as transgender people every day. Already, the backlash is coming in on Twitter with jokes and threats. “I am not trying to dampen a moment that is joyous and one I celebrate,” Elliot writes, “but, I want to address the full picture. The statistics are staggering. The discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences. In 2020 alone it has been reported that at least 40 transgender people have been murdered, the majority of which were Black and Latinx trans women.” Every transgender person who lives their truth is brave; joy despite threats is their secret superpower.
“I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive.” Page writes. His announcement ends with a message “to all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and threat of violence every day.”
”I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can change this world for the better,” he writes.
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