Elliot Page Credited "But I'm A Cheerleader" With Transforming His Life When He Was A Teen

·2 min read

Elliot Page knows the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in media — because it was that representation that drastically changed his life.

Elliot smiles while wearing a baseball cap, grey polo and black zip up hoodie
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The Umbrella Academy actor says that growing up, the films and television series that celebrated queer people helped him accept his identity.

"I, for one, know that without the various representation that I was able to stumble upon as a kid and a teenager — there was very little — I just don't know if I would have made it," Elliot said at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival.

He continued, "I don't know if I would have made it through the moments of isolation and loneliness and shame and self-hatred that was so extreme and powerful and all-encompassing that you could hardly see out of it."

Elliot wears a baseball cap and black t-shirt while attending an event
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Elliot went on to highlight one film in particular — Natasha Lyonne's 1999 movie But I'm a Cheerleader.

The film follows a high schooler whose parents send her to conversion therapy when they believe she's gay. Instead of changing her way of thinking, she falls in love with another teenage girl.

Two women gaze at each other while closely sitting on the floor in matching pink shirts and plaid skirts
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"And then, you know, at 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on But I'm a Cheerleader and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life," Elliot said.

He added, "I almost think we don't talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for."

Elliot, who was accepting the Annual Achievement Award, also thanked Outfest for their work to tell LGBTQ+ stories.

"It offers somebody a lifeline. And I know that representation has done that for me," Elliot concluded.