The 34-year-old “Umbrella Academy” star tells Time in its latest cover story that he anticipated “a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia” upon announcing in December that he is transgender.
And “that’s essentially what happened,” he told the magazine.
The actor detailed the difficulties he faced during his rise to fame as a child star before landing female roles in big blockbusters like “Juno” and “Inception.” Playing these roles on camera was a part of his job as an actor, but struggling with his identity at an early age proved to add to the pressures of being in the spotlight.
“I became a professional actor at the age of 10,” Page said. “Of course I had to look a certain way.”
Elliot Page came out as transgender in December with a lengthy statement on social media.
Page says he “felt like a boy” and “wanted to be a boy” during his childhood.
“I would ask my mom if I could be someday,” Page explained.
By 21, the actor said he recognized the public’s perception of him did not equate with who he truly was deep within.
“I just never recognized myself,” Page told the outlet. “For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself.”
Page recalled suffering from anxiety, depression and panic attacks. He struggled with “how to explain to people that even though [I was] an actor, just putting on a T-shirt cut for a woman would make me so unwell.”
Elliot Page and Emma Portner announced their divorce in January after three years of marriage.
(Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Page, who is currently filming “Umbrella Academy” in Toronto, came out as gay back in 2014. In 2018, the star married partner Emma Portner although the two announced early in January they are divorcing.
He said “the difference in how I felt before coming out as gay to after was massive” but it didn’t address his gender identity.
“But did the discomfort in my body ever go away? No, no, no, no,” he continued.
Page revealed that he underwent a surgical procedure to remove his breast tissue, also known as a subcutaneous mastectomy.
Elliot Page says undergoing surgery to remove breast tissue ‘completely transformed my life.’
(Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb)
“It has completely transformed my life,” he added.
Page was recovering from the surgery in Toronto when he announced to the world that he is transgender. In the months prior, the actor said he gave it much thought.
“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,” he said, noting that “shame and discomfort” led to his decision.
“I was finally able to embrace being transgender,” Page continued, “and letting myself fully become who I am.”
In his lengthy statement in December, Page said he felt “lucky” to come out. He also cast blame at politicians “who work to criminalize trans health care and deny our right to exist.”
“You unleash a fury of vile and demeaning rage that lands on the shoulders of the trans community, a community in which 40% of trans adults report attempting suicide. Enough is enough. You aren’t being ‘cancelled,’ you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we won’t be silent in the face of your attacks,” Page said at the time.
Now, the actor is dedicated to being another advocate for the trans community.
“Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric—every day you’re seeing our existence debated,” Page told the magazine. “Transgender people are so very real.”