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Elliot Page
Elliot Page. Courtesy of Wynne Neilly / TIME
Elliot Page
Elliot Page. Courtesy of Wynne Neilly / TIME

This week, Hollywood actor Elliot Page became the first transgender man to grace the cover of TIME magazine. In this story, Page opens up about his journey of self-discovery and, more importantly, self-acceptance. 

On December 1 last year, Page shared an earnest letter on his Instagram profile where he shared with the public his gender identity for the first time and brought attention to the devastating statistics of crimes against trans people. In TIME’s interview, Page stated that the note was posted during his recovery from the top surgery. 

The conversation with Page recounts his childhood and Hollywood career with the star of Juno, describing his struggle with stardom and the pressure that came with it. Things became slightly easier after Page came out as gay in 2014. The gender role he was expected to fulfill had expanded to allow for more authentic self-expression. Nonetheless, Page recalls still feeling uncomfortable in his own body. According to him, after the pandemic hit and the lockdown started, he was forced to sit with himself and, from that introspection, came to a more definitive realization about his gender identity.

Page’s interview paints him as a person who is aware of both the staggering discrimination against the minority group he is a part of and, at the same time, of the privileges he holds due to his racial and class identities. Similar to what he has done in the past, Page is determined to use his voice and power to bring awareness to life-threatening difficulties trans people face in America and worldwide. He readily accepts the ‘burden’ of representation. He puts a lot of thought and detail when discussing topics, such as transmasculinity, that may not have been at the center of conversation when it comes to trans identities. 

There is newfound freedom in finally openly being who he always was. “I’m really excited to act, now that I’m fully who I am, in this body. No matter the challenges and difficult moments of this, nothing amounts to getting to feel how I feel now,” Page concludes.

Hopefully, Page’s positionality as a trans male actor in Hollywood will contribute to the normalization of casting trans people in all roles and pushing for their inclusion in what still are predominantly cisgender spaces.

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