Elliot Page Got Real About The His Privilege In The Trans Community And Said His Experience Doesn’t “Represent The Reality Of Most Trans Lives” After Saying He Feels “Grateful” To Be Alive
Ahead of the release of his highly anticipated memoir, Elliot Page is looking back on the difficulties he faced while navigating his identity.
As I’m sure you know, Elliot came out as transgender in December 2020. He shared the news with his social media followers with a heartfelt statement that began: “Hi friends. I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.”
“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” he continued the message, which was met with widespread love and support from fans.
Since then, Elliot has talked openly about his journey. However, he’s preparing to share even more of his story in a brand new memoir, Pageboy, which is set to release on June 6.
Speaking to People magazine about the book — which will apparently cover topics including mental health, assault, love, relationships, sex, and his experience in Hollywood — Elliot confessed this week that he’s feeling “slightly overwhelmed,” but “grateful.”
Reflecting on the process of writing the memoir, the actor said it’s not something that he ever thought he’d be capable of, but that it felt “like the right time” to share more with the world.
“Books, particularly memoirs, have really shifted my life, offered me inspiration, comfort, been humbling, all of those things,” he said. “And I think this period of not just hate, of course, but misinformation or just blatant lies about LGTBQ+ lives, about our healthcare, it felt like the right time.”
He continued: “Trans and queer stories are so often picked apart, or worse, universalized. So the first chapter of Pageboy, I just sat down and it came out and I just didn't stop. I just kept writing.”
In the first chapter, Elliot discusses his sexuality, recalling the first kiss he shared with a woman in a gay bar, just months before Juno — the film that shot him to global fame and earned him an Oscar nomination — was released in 2007.
In an excerpt obtained by People, Elliot writes about a woman named Paula, whom he met when he was 20 years old, telling the story of how their friendship turned into a romance.
“The sound of her voice radiated warmth, a kindness. It wasn't so much that her eyes lit up but that they found you. I could feel her looking,” he writes. “We went to Reflections. It was the first time I had been to a gay bar and would be my last for a long time. I was a miserable flirter. Flirting when I didn’t mean to and not when I wanted to. We stood close, but not too close.”
Elliot recalls that “being in a queer space and being present” was a new but enjoyable experience at the time, confessing that “shame had been drilled into my bones since I was my tiniest self, and I struggled to rid my body of that old toxic and erosive marrow.”
“But there was a joy in the room, it lifted me, forced a reaction in the jaw, an uncontrolled, steady smile. Dancing, sweat dripping down my back, down my chest,” he remembers.
The Umbrella Academy actor goes on to write that he was “jolted” by his own “boldness” after he asked Paula if he could kiss her. He recalls that the kiss with Paula finally helped him “understand what all those poems were about, what all the fuss was.”
“Everything was cold before, motionless, emotionless,” the excerpt reads. “Any woman I had loved hadn't loved me back, and the one who maybe had, loved me the wrong way. But here I was, on a dance floor with a woman who wanted to kiss me and the antagonizing, cruel voice that flooded my head whenever I felt desire was silent.”
Speaking to People about sharing such personal experiences with the world, Elliot was keen to emphasize his understanding that his journey may be very different from that of other people in the trans community.
“My experience as a trans person and this life I have, and the privilege I have does not represent the reality of most trans lives,” he told the outlet, before acknowledging the importance of representation.
“I think it's crucial, I think we need to feel represented and see ourselves, you know, that's not something I had like as a kid,” he said. “The reality is, trans people disproportionately are unemployed, disproportionately experience homelessness. Trans women of color are being murdered. People are losing their healthcare or couldn't access it.”
After acknowledging his privilege, Elliot opened up about the harder times in his journey, noting that “there's obviously been very difficult moments.”
“I do feel like I kind of barely made it in many ways. But today, I'm just me and grateful to be here and alive and taking one step at a time,” he said.
You can read the full excerpt of the first chapter of Pageboy here.
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