In a cover story in Time magazine published Tuesday, Page emphasized that surgery is not a central part of transitioning for everyone, but said that for him, “It has completely transformed my life” after the “total hell” of puberty.
The actor also said that his coming out has been both a challenge — and an opportunity to share his experience as a transgender person. “Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric — every day you’re seeing our existence debated,” Page said in the interview, which is the first he’s given since disclosing his trans identity. “Transgender people are so very real.”
He shared how he felt a sense of triumph and joy at being able to cut his hair short at the age of nine. Page revealed that, at that moment, he “felt like a boy.”
“I wanted to be a boy,” Page said. “I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”
He said strangers started perceiving him as the gender identity Elliot Page visualized for himself, but this joy was short-lived after he began his acting career. At the age of 10, Page landed a role playing the daughter in a Canadian TV movie, and he needed to wear a wig for the role.
When the movie was adapted into a TV series, Page said he had to grow his hair out, and that pursuing his passion came at the price of his gender expression. He explained: “Of course, I had to look a certain way.”
The actor, who made his breakthrough in Juno and has a starring role in Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, told Time that he feels “true excitement and deep gratitude” to have made it to “this point in my life.” But he admitted these feelings were “mixed with a lot of fear and anxiety.”
Elliot Page said he expected “a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia” when he came out. He added: “That’s essentially what happened.”
But he admitted he didn’t anticipate how big his story would be and the widespread impact his coming out would have on others in the LGBT+ community.