In his first televised interview since coming out as transgender, Canadian actor Elliot Page reflected on what his transition has been like, why trans visibility matters and the importance of defeating anti-trans bills in the United States.
The Halifax-born actor spoke with Oprah Winfrey on The Oprah Conversation, which aired on AppleTV on Friday.
“It’s an incredible sensation that I am experiencing and it keeps unfolding,” Page said.
“This is incredibly new. I feel like I haven’t gotten to be myself since I was 10 years old, but [it’s] all these moments of joy, of euphoria in my body, of just feeling a different way, every single day.”
The actor is best known for his Oscar-nominated role in Juno, as well as the sci-fi action hit Inception, and most recently The Umbrella Academy on Netflix.
In December, Page shared on social media that he is trans and his pronouns are he/him and they/them.
Page, 34, told Winfrey that posting the news widely felt imperative to not only counteract the anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans backlash he’d been seeing in the U.S., but also for his own well-being.
“With this platform I have, the privilege that I have, and knowing the pain and the difficulties and the struggles I’ve faced in my life — let alone what so many other people are facing — it absolutely felt just crucial and important for me to share that,” he said.
Page said previously there were times in his life he knew he was trans, but he wasn’t ready to share it. In 2014, he came out as gay.
He said he thought it would relieve some of the constant “white noise” in his head.
“It did relieve a lot for me … but no, the discomfort in my body, it absolutely did not go away,” he said.
But now, after coming out as trans and having gender-affirming chest reconstruction surgery, the discomfort has faded.
He shared his experience of having top surgery in the cover story for Time magazine in March.
“I wanted to share with people just how much it has changed my life and I want people to know that not only has it been life-changing for me, I do believe it is life saving,” he told Winfrey.
He also said it’s important to share because of the current “attack” on transgender health care in the United States.
Some states have passed laws or implemented executive orders this year limiting the ability to receive gender-affirming medical treatment like puberty blockers and hormone therapy — a move that heavily impacts trans children.
“I want to tell them that I see them. That they exist. That they are real,” Page said of transgender children.
“Looking at the attacks against trans kids right now and the rhetoric, I can’t imagine what it feels like on top of everything else, and I just want kids to know that they’re loved and I’m going to continue to do what I can to help this society shift how it treats transgender people.”
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Page also called on allies of the LGBTQ community to support and advocate for trans lives by combating the detrimental bills that could impact many trans people.
He said his own transition has allowed him to feel comfortable in his body for the first time ever.
“I guess from where I’m sitting now, all I know is — the degree of comfort, sense of home, ability to be present — feels so profound and life-changing,” he said.
“And so what I look forward to is getting to move through the world in that way and continuing to become the person that I’ve always wanted to be and that I hope to be and keep working toward being.”