You might not yet know Elliot Page by name, but there’s little doubt that you’re already more than familiar with the Academy Award-nominated actor’s work and commitment to using his platform to advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Today, Page came out as transgender in an open letter published to both his Twitter and Instagram pages detailing that his pronouns are he/they and that he’s profoundly happy to finally feel comfortable embracing and expressing who he is openly. “I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life,” he wrote. “I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.”
Page explained that witnessing compassion and grace from within the trans community played a major role in their own coming out process, but also made a point of detailing how that same grace is not returned toward trans people. “To be clear, I am not trying to dampen a moment that is joyous and one that I celebrate, but I want to address the full picture,” Page wrote. “The statistics are staggering: the discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences.”
— Elliot Page (@TheElliotPage) December 1, 2020
Everyone’s public coming out is a deeply personal experience, but Page made the purposeful choice to use his statement to also call out people he sees as acting in bad faith to harm queer people — particularly politicians in positions of power and other public figures with sizable followings who listen to them.
“In 2020 alone it has been reported that at least 40 transgender people have been murdered, the majority of which were Black and Latinx trans women,” Page continued. “To the political leaders who work to criminalise trans health care and to deny our right to exist and to all of those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility towards the trans community: you have blood on your hands.”
Page’s stance on how people use their platforms is nothing new. Last year, the actor publicly called out Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt (something he later responded to) online for his association with Zoe Church, a Christian megachurch modelled after the Hillsong Church (which Pratt was formerly associated with) an organisation whose founder Brian Housted said does “not affirm a gay lifestyle.”
Regardless of what someone’s personally held beliefs may be, it’s their actions in public and associations that send messages about the nature of their character to others. In Page’s case, the message appears to be that he’s jazzed as hell to share even more of his truth with people and to use his privilege to keep fighting the good fight both off-screen and on, as the third season for Netflix’s Umbrella Academy’s already been greenlit to begin production next year.