Actor Elliot Page comes out as transgender

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Photo by: The New York Times

“My joy is real, but it is also fragile,” Elliot said in a letter he wrote on social media announcing he is transgender.

Story by Lane Phifer, Multimedia Editor

“My joy is real, but it is also fragile.” 

These are the words that Canadian actor and producer Elliot Page used in a letter he wrote on his Twitter and Facebook page announcing that he is transgender on Dec.1. 

“Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot,” Page said. “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.”

As someone that came out of the closet as transgender nearly four years ago, seeing a celebrity as well known as Page publicly share his story, despite how frightening it may be, lets me know that people around the world will have the representation that a majority of the trans community and I needed growing up. 

Seeing a celebrity as well known as Page publicly share his story, despite how frightening it may be, lets me know that people around the world will have the representation that a majority of the trans community and I needed growing up. ”

— Phifer

Page has been in award-winning films such as “Juno,” “Inception” and Netflix series “Umbrella Academy.”

Page has been one of Hollywood’s most outspoken advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and has been in the film industry for 15 years, according to Page he is thankful for the support he has had so far. 

“I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey,” Page said. “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.” 

Despite the support Page has experienced since coming out, in his letter he acknowledges that while this is a joyful moment for him, coming out in of itself can be frightening because of the hardships people in the LGBT community face in today’s society. 

“To be clear, I am not trying to dampen a moment that is joyous and one that I celebrate, but I want to address the full picture,” Page said. “The statistics are staggering. The discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences.”

According to the Human Rights Campaign, throughout 2020 there have been roughly 40 reported cases of murders against transgender people, specifically trans women of color. 

In the article “Transgender Health Protections Reversed By Trump Administration”, on June 12, the Trump Administration finalized a rule that removes nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, specifically healthcare and health insurance. 

“To the political leaders who work to criminalize trans health care and deny our right to exist and to all of those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility towards the trans community: you have blood on your hands,” Page said. “You unleash a fury vile and demeaning rage that lands on the shoulders of the trans community, a community in which 40% of trans adults report attempting suicide. Enough is enough. You aren’t being “canceled,” you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we won’t be silent in the face of your attacks.”

Similar to a majority of those in the LGBT community, I fear for my safety each day. Everything I do, whether it be going to the bathroom, shopping for clothes in the men’s department or simply go to the doctor, is an ever-so-cautious battle that revolves around me being transgender. 

But I’m not the only one that feels this way. In the article, “What Percentage of the Population is Transgender 2020,” it is said that there are roughly 1,400,000 people in the U.S. alone that identify as transgender. 

Being in the LGBT community shouldn’t allow anyone to live in fear or to be discriminated against, it should be celebrated and valued that trans individuals have the courage to become the most authentic version of themselves and should inspire others to do the same. 

Being in the LGBT community shouldn’t allow anyone to live in fear or to be discriminated against, it should be celebrated and valued that trans individuals have the courage to become the most authentic version of themselves and should inspire others to do the same. ”

— Phifer

After Page’s coming out letter was released, Netflix corrected the actor’s credits on past films and tv shows. 

On Dec. 1, the official Netflix account showed their support to the “Umbrella Academy” actor.

“So proud of our superhero! WE LOVE YOU ELLIOT,” the account said. “Can’t wait to see you return in season three!”

With the large amount of support that Page has received, the numbers in people that are becoming pro-LGBT are increasing each day, which may help decrease the transgender suicide rate in years to come and inspire others to share their truth. 

In the article, “Why do so many transgender youth say they want to kill themselves?” by Fran Smith, trans people are more likely to attempting to commit suicide at the beginning of their transition because of the pressures of coming out to an often-hostile world. 

According to the National LGBT Health Education Center, supporting a transition is more likely to prevent suicidal thoughts or ideations. 

By using his platform, Page intends to advocate for LGBT rights and to help change the world one step at a time. 

“To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day; I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better,” Page said. 

Being a transgender man myself, reading Page’s letter was emotional, moving, and should be considered a wake-up call for some on why advocating and protecting trans lives is just as important as guarding anyone else’s. 

While Page’s story is not the first, it certainly won’t be the last. With the number of hate crimes committed on members of the LGBT community increasing each day, public figures along with average individuals may become an easy target for bigotry. This is why it is important to show your support by advocating, signing petitions, and supporting LGBT people across the board.