TRANS LIVES MATTER

Elliot Page Tells Oprah He Finally Feels Comfortable Since Coming Out

Elliot Page in 2019
Photo by Rich Polk via Getty Images

Last December, the actor Elliot Page posted an emotional Instagram coming out as transgender and announcing he uses the pronouns he/they. (The actor’s first name is an homage to the lead character of E.T.) He’s been continuously candid ever since—most recently in an interview with Vanity Fair and another with Oprah Winfrey that airs Friday on Apple TV+.

“For the first time in, I don’t even know how long, [I am] really just being able to sit by myself, be on my own, be productive, and be creative,” Page told Vanity Fair. “Not have some constant distraction, all these things that aren’t conscious or aren’t even overly overt.” Page knew “absolutely, 100 percent” that he was a boy back when he was a toddler. But it’s only now that he’s “even felt really present with people—that I can be just really relaxed and not have an anxiety that’s always pulling.”

As for what’s brought him the most joy since transitioning, Page told Winfrey that “it’s the little [things]. Getting out of the shower and your towel is around your waist and you're looking at the mirror and you're just like, ‘Here I am.’” Though, he finds some angst about balancing that excitement with activism, especially at such a crucial moment for trans lives. The 100-plus bills targeting transgender people, and particularly youth, currently up for legislation across several states “are going to be responsible for the death of children.” Speaking with Winfrey, then, “felt like an opportunity to use a wide-reaching platform to speak from my heart about some of my experience and the resources I’ve been able to access—whether therapy or surgery—that have allowed me to be alive, to live my life.”

Page said he’d been discussing his gender identity with people in his life long before coming out on Instagram. The latter was both a call to action and an attempt to reach out to transgender youth. “The experience I had closeted so long…,” Page said. “You know, I came out as gay right before my 27th birthday. Up until then, I had pretty much never even touched someone outside who I was in love with. And so I think any kind of sensation of feeling that again—there was just no way I could do it. It felt important and selfish for myself and my own wellbeing and my mental health.”

Right now, Page is amidst a “massive explosion of creativity.” That means you’ll soon be seeing—or rather hearing— more of him on screen, in the animated movies Naya Legend of the Dolphin and Robodog, as well as the animated series ARK. But the actor is also branching out: Since announcing his transition, Page has written a screenplay and recorded music.