A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, Elliot Page is reflecting on how the lockdown helped him to emerge as his authentic self.
Isolation gave the actor, who came forward as transgender in December, the time and space to wrangle his gender identity, he told Time magazine in an interview published Tuesday. Page and then-wife Emma Portner had separated over the summer and filed for divorce earlier this year.
"I had a lot of time on my own to really focus on things that I think, in so many ways, unconsciously, I was avoiding," said the 34-year-old star of "The Umbrella Academy," who uses he/they pronouns.
Appearing on the cover of Time with the headline "I'm fully who I am," Page said he had questioned his gender since he was a small child, bristling at being told to play on the girls soccer team and decrying the "total hell" that was puberty.
Left on his own this past year, he said he took inspiration from trans icons and trans writers before making the decision to tell the world his gender reality.
"What I was anticipating was a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia," the actor said of the decision to release a statement declaring he is transgender. "That's essentially what happened."
At the time of the post, Page said, he was in Toronto recovering from top surgery — though he noted that being trans isn't all about going under the knife and said many trans people either can't afford or don't want to make those changes.
But Page said that for him, breast removal "completely transformed my life," reclaiming all the energy he'd spent for years being uncomfortable in his body. It was another step in an initial transition that started with his 2014 declaration about being gay.
With deep respect for those who came before me, gratitude for those who have supported me & great concern for the generation of trans youth we must all protect, please join me and decry anti-trans legislation, hate & discrimination in all its forms. pic.twitter.com/5yr8TYywTn— Elliot Page (@TheElliotPage) March 16, 2021
"I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission," the "Juno" star said when he came out. "I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered."
The evolution has continued.
"The difference in how I felt before coming out as gay to after was massive. But did the discomfort in my body ever go away? No, no, no, no," he told Time.
Now, Page is receiving more offers of work than ever, with what he called "dude roles" sprinkled amid trans-related projects. Netflix has changed the credits to Page's new name on "The Umbrella Academy" — a show that drew the actor's attention because of how much his character Vanya was "closed off" to her true superhero identity.
"I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. 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," Page wrote on social media in December. "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."