In an emotional letter posted on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, Elliot Page — the star of the 2007 film Juno and Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy — announced that they are a non-binary, transgender person and will be using the pronouns "he/they" moving forward.
“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” they wrote.
While this time in their life is surely filled with happiness and celebration, Page wrote that it’s also a period that will require some patience, compassion, and understanding of what it means to be a transgender person in this day and age. “My joy is real, but it is also fragile,” they explained. "The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I’m scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the ‘jokes’ and of violence.”
The grim statistics on violence toward transgender individuals validate Page's fears. In 2020 alone, at least 40 transgender or gender non-conforming people, the majority of whom include Black and Latinx transgender women, have been fatally shot or killed by other violent means, according to The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group that has tracked this data since 2013. Even more appalling, that number may be much higher, as these stories often go unreported or are misreported, according to The HRC. “The discrimination toward trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences,” Page added in their statement. (Related: Nicole Maines and Isis King Shared Their Advice for Young Transgender Women)
But Page is ready to help shift their community’s outlook. “To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better,” they wrote.
Following their announcement, Page has quickly seen an outpouring of support. “I am so proud of @elliotpage,” Emma Portner, Page’s wife, posted on Instagram. “Trans, queer and non-binary people are a gift to this world. I also ask for patience & privacy but that you join me in the fervent support of trans life every single day. Elliot’s existence is a gift in and of itself. Shine on sweet E. Love you so much.”
Even strangers on the internet, many of whom personally relate to Page’s experience or just want to show their solidarity, are applauding the actor's decision to publicly share their identity. (See: LGBTQ+ Glossary of Gender and Sexuality Definitions Allies Should Know)
This mama bear is really proud of you for living your truth, because I know it's scary. I watched my child do it, I watched my partner do it, and I continue to be amazed as I watch you and others do it. Celebrating your joy and standing beside you in solidarity, always.💙
— Amanda Jetté Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) December 1, 2020
Your first instance of coming out helped me embrace my identity as a lesbian, and reading this as a non-binary person now I’m so glad that someone like you is a part of our community ❤️
— theo (@oraclehere) December 1, 2020
What's most important, though, is that Page is wholeheartedly accepting themself. “I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer,” they wrote. "And 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.”