Celebrity

Elliot Page’s coming out announcement speaks to the joy and fear of being transgender

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Aiden Wynn
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Elliot Page’s emotional coming out post is both a heartwarming love letter to the transgender community and a stark reminder of just how difficult life can be for them. 

Star of Oscar winning movie Juno and hit Netflix show The Umbrella Academy Elliot Page has come out as transgender, with an emotional statement posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts on the evening of Tuesday 1 December.

Opening with a greeting to his millions of followers, he goes on to say that: “I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot.” He continues by saying that “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.”

In his four paragraph-long announcement, he talks more about this feeling of luck and his happiness at having found himself, explaining his experience in a way that really speaks to the joy of being and accepting yourself as transgender.

“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” he says. 

Bearing in mind that gender dysphoria – which, basically, is the mismatch a trans person feels when they cannot live or are not perceived as their true self – can cause significant mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, Elliot’s statement captures the relief and elation that very often comes with understanding where that mismatch comes from and how to rectify it.

He also acknowledges how liberating it is to come out and start living life as the gender you know yourself to be, saying “the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive.”

However, he does also go on to say that, while his joy is real, “it is also fragile.” Sadly, his apprehensions are more than understandable, because as he himself acknowledges, “discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences.” 

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And, unfortunately, Elliot is right when he says that “the statistics are staggering.” Trans people across the world face high levels of abuse and discrimination, and Elliot points out that, in the US alone, 40 transgender people were murdered in 2020, “the majority of which were Black and Latinx trans women,” and that “40% of trans adults report attempting suicide.”

As a result, he – like many other trans people – is “scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the “jokes” and of violence,” a fear that is likely amplified by being in the public eye. 

But, while the bigger picture is bleak, it is also true that, in many areas, progress is slowly being made. For this, Elliot rightly commends those in the trans community who work tirelessly “to make this world a more inclusive and compassionate place.”

His announcement has been warmly received by fans, celebrities and transgender icons alike, with many taking to their own social media accounts to wish him well. One such icon is Raquel Willis, a writer, editor and transgender activist, who replied to his tweet to thank him for “the gift of [his] truth.”

Sarah McBride, who recently became the first transgender person to be elected as a US state senator, weighed in too. 

As did genderqueer singer-songwriter Christine and the Queens, who replied with a simple tweet welcoming him as a part of the transgender community. 

Other celebrities joined in on the messages of love, including Dan Levy from the new Christmas romcom Happiest Season, British LGBTQ+ icon Sir Ian McKellen, and Miley Cyrus, Ruby Rose and Janet Mock, who showed their support in Elliot’s Instagram comments. 

In her response, Janet Mock expressed that she was sending Elliot “love and strength,” which is a sentiment I am sure many of us echo.

Any trans people seeking support, help or advice can find resources on the Stonewall website and their local organisations on the Trans Unite website.

Images: Getty