Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page opens up about celebrating trans joy and standing against the “misinformation and lies” of anti-trans legislation in lead up to his Oprah Winfrey interview.
In conversation with trans writer Thomas Page McBee for a recent Vanity Fair piece, Page details his excitement in being openly trans as well as how coming out resulted in a burst of creativity. He said, “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. It’s such an oversimplification to say it this way, but I’m comfortable. I feel a significant difference in my ability to just exist—and not even just day to day, but moment to moment.”
Elliot Page and I talk about trans joy and much more ahead of his sit-down with Oprah Friday. https://t.co/6ZGXfurS0F
— Thomas Page McBee (@ThomasPageMcBee) April 28, 2021
Page went on to say, “In terms of acting, I don’t think I quite know yet. I am just a lot more fucking comfortable and present, so it’s hard to imagine that that’s not affecting the work, because, really, being present’s ultimately what you’re going for—you’re just ultimately trying to crack open and be present and connect to the truth of a moment. So I’m imagining the more I get to embody who I am and exist in the body I want to exist in, there’ll be a difference.”
As McBee and Page’s in-depth and insightful discussion continued, they both acknowledge that there are challenges in being openly trans due to a rise in transphobic politics and rhetorics. Reflecting on this, the Juno actor stated, “The reason you and I have the privileges we have is because people have sacrificed so much for so, so, so long and put everything on the line.”
“I think it’s about: 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? How do I figure out a way to integrate those two feelings, in terms of being a public person? How has it been for you?” Page continued.
Responding to Page’s question, McBee shared, “The more challenges trans people are under, the more I find inspiration in my own feeling of freedom and joy. I also look to kids. Younger people are just so much more imaginative about what gender can even mean, and not just trans kids either. And I talk to my trans friends, like you.”
In terms of opening up discussions and spotlighting trans joy, Elliot Page further addressed how he was hopeful that by speaking with Oprah, he could use her “wide-reaching platform” to share some of the life-saving resources “that have allowed me to be alive, to live my life.” Speaking about the significance of this interview, the actor shared, “I don’t want it to sound like, “Look at me.” It’s not that at all. Actually, I was really nervous. But I thought about it for a bit, and it just felt like, Okay, the GOP basically wants to destroy the lives of trans kids and stop the Equality Act. How do you not use this platform?”
"[Talking to Oprah] 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." –@TheElliotPage https://t.co/rm9mt4r72y
— Apple TV (@AppleTV) April 28, 2021
While many are excited to see the Oprah interview, the Vanity Fair piece has been praised across social media with many acknowledging the power and significance of a trans writer interviewing Page. One person wrote on Twitter, “This is the level of nuance, complexity, meaning, and impact you get when trans people interview trans people.”
Actress Marin Ireland expressed, “This is gorgeous and honest and thoughtful and such a gift to us all. Thank you.”
In another response, one person stated, “I’m so glad to see the narrative around coming out, and trans existence is slowly changing – thanks to trans writers being given the jobs! This is a gorgeous piece.”
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