Three months after coming out publicly as trans, Elliot Page is on the cover of Time, becoming the first trans man to appear there.
Throughout the interview, which is largely about his transition, Page’s happiness and joy at being able to be himself leap off the page. Page — who uses he/him and they/them pronouns, but in this interview said he currently prefers he/him — says that coming out was one of the scariest decisions of his life but also one of the best and the longest-building.
From an early age, Page felt discomfort with his assigned gender. For many trans people, his story is familiar. At the age of 9, he was allowed to cut his hair short and he loved it. “I felt like a boy,” Page said. “I wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”
When he became an actor and was starring in movies playing female roles a few years later, he had a hard time watching them. “I just never recognized myself,” Page told Time. “For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself.” It’s a memory many trans people have.
When he came out as gay in 2014, he started to feel more comfortable and started requiring that characters he played wear masculine costumes. He also started wearing suits and more masculine clothing at events and in his life. But something was still off.
“The difference in how I felt before coming out as gay to after was massive,” he said. “But did the discomfort in my body ever go away? No, no, no, no.”
It’s all part of the journey, one that Page says he’s still on. “It’s a complicated journey,” he said, “and an ongoing process.” He identifies as queer and nonbinary, but right now is leaning into his transmasculine self and calls himself a “transgender guy.”
Now that he’s comfortable, Page is ready to reach new career heights, and he’s ready to fight for other trans people. Being his authentic self is already paying off. He says he’s never gotten as many offers as he is now. Many are trans-specific roles and opportunities, but he also said he’s getting offers for “dude roles.”
Page knows that while he’s trans, he is privileged as a wealthy, famous white person. “My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today,” he said, “and of course I want to use that privilege and platform to help in the ways I can.”