Elliot Page has opened up about his gender identity journey in his first interview since coming out as trangender last December.
Page spoke of his struggle with his gender identity stretched back to childhood, as early as age nine.
“I wanted to be a boy,” he said.
“I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”
However his success as a child actor meant “he had to look a certain way” and prevented him from coming to terms with himself, Page explained.
At age 10, Page had to grow his hair long for a female role.
“I just never recognized myself,” he told TIME.
“For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself.”
Page suffered from anxiety, depression and panic attacks as a result.
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 says transition ‘not only life-changing but lifesaving’
Elliot Page came out publicly as gay in 2014, years before transitioning.
“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.”
The actor is currently starring in Netflix sci-fi series The Umbrella Academy.
In December Elliot shared the news he was transgender. At that time, he said he was at home recovering from top surgery which he says has “completely transformed” his life. He described the decision as “not only life-changing but lifesaving”.
After coming out last year, Page anticipated “a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia. That’s essentially what happened.”
“[I felt] this feeling of true excitement and deep gratitude to have made it to this point in my life, mixed with a lot of fear and anxiety,” he said.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic last year gifted him with the time he needed to explore his identity.
“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,” Page explained.
“I was finally able to embrace being transgender and letting myself fully become who I am.”
Growing up in Canada in the 1990s, Page said there were “no examples” of trans men to look up to. Page now wants to change that for future generations.
“Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric [about trans people],” Page told TIME.
“Every day you’re seeing our existence debated. Transgender people are so very real.”
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.