In a new interview with Oprah Winfrey, Elliot Page has opened up about the “freeing” experience of transitioning and finally feeling comfortable in his own body.
Last December, the Oscar-nominated star of Juno, Inception and The Umbrella Academy Elliot Page came out as transgender in a moving statement posted to his social media accounts. “I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” he wrote.
Now, in his first TV interview since he announced his transition, the actor has spoken about how “crucial and important” it was to publicly come out in the face of systemic violence against transgender people in the US.
“I was expressing this to people in my life much before posting that letter, and telling people for the first time, and knowing I wanted a moment to become comfortable in myself and to be able to get to that point,” the actor told Oprah Winfrey in a trailer for her Apple TV+ show, The Oprah Conversation.
“For me, in this time we’re in right now and especially with this horrible backlash we’re seeing towards trans people, particularly trans youth, it really felt imperative to do so,” he continued, referencing the new wave of Republican legalisation which seeks to prohibit transgender youth from accessing healthcare and participating in school sports.
“The reality of the healthcare is its supported by medical institutions and it saves lives. If you are going to [ban it], and if you are going to ban trans people from sports, children will die,” he added. “It’s that simple.”
Page, who has been a longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights, also opened up about the “life-changing, life-saving” experience of top surgery, detailing the happiness he now finds in moments of normalcy.
“Getting out of the shower and the towel’s around your waist and you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and you’re just like, ‘there I am’. And I’m not having the moment where I’m panicked, I’m not having all these little moments that used to be…
“Just being in a t-shirt. It’s being able to touch my chest and feel comfortable in my body for the, probably the first time. Tears of joy.”
Page, who became the first transgender man to be the sole cover figure of Time magazine in March, also posted a clip from the interview on Instagram highlighting both the joy of his experience at being trans, as well as the violence faced by trans people in the US.
“My feelings aren’t really linear. I feel emerging joy and excitement one moment, and then in the next, profound sadness reading about people wanting to take gender-affirming healthcare away from children.
“I feel so grateful to be at this place in my life, and I want to use the strength I have to help in all the ways that I can. How can I feel grateful for my joy, and embrace my joy, and allow myself to have that joy - but then put that joy and that love into action?”
Page also recommended that people watch the Netflix documentary Disclosure, which examines the evolution of trans representation in popular culture.
In a world where stories of LGBTQ+ joy are so often lost in the stream of newspaper headlines focusing on violence and discrimination against the community, Page’s interview challenges the narrative that being trans equals trauma. Positive representation like this will undoubtedly help trans people around the world live a more authentic life.
The Elliot Page episode of The Oprah Conversation is streaming now on Apple TV+.