Watch: Elliot Page Sits Down with Oprah to Discuss Personal Journey and Trans Rights

Wednesday April 28, 2021

Elliot Page in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be broadcast on Apple TV on Friday, April 30, 2021
Elliot Page in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be broadcast on Apple TV on Friday, April 30, 2021  (Source:Apple TV+)

Elliot Page came out as trans in a moving IG last December, writing, "I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life."

The announcement made Page, as Vanity Fair points out, "the most recognizable trans masculine person on the planet—and in a particularly harrowing political moment for trans people in the United States too. In the months since Page's initial post, more than 30 state legislatures have proposed more than 115 bills that would limit health care and other rights for trans people, with an emphasis on trans children."

Page's very public persona led to a Time Magazine cover in March where he addressed the disclosure's potential impact — both pro and con. But what Page didn't expect was its impact, which, Time wrote, "made him one of the most famous out trans people in the world, started trending on Twitter in more than 20 countries.

Page gained more than 400,000 new followers on Instagram on that day alone. Thousands of articles were published. Likes and shares reached millions. Right-wing podcasters readied their rhetoric about 'women in men's locker rooms.' Casting directors reached out to Page's manager saying it would be an honor to cast Page in their next big movie."

This Friday, Page reaches an even wider audience in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that will be broadcast on Apple TV+. "The interview, he hopes, will help combat the 'misinformation and lies' embedded in anti-trans legislation," adds Vanity Fair.

In his IG, Page said that he "can't express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self," elaborating when Oprah asked, "What part of your transition has actually brought you the most joy?"

"What has brought me the most joy?" Page answered. "The most joy. It is getting out of the shower and the towel is around the waist and you are looking at yourself in the mirror and you are just like, 'there I am.' I am not having the moment when I'm panicked. I am not having all these little moments that use to be — just being in a T-shirt. It's being able to touch my chest (he gets emotional) and feel comfortable in my body for the first time. Tears of joy."

Since the Oprah interview, Page spoke to trans writer Thomas Page McBee. The pair met while filming "Tales of the City" in 2018 and felt an immediate connection. They had a conversation that can be read in full on the Vanity Fair website, in which McBee asked why Page agreed to the Oprah interview.

"It was something I needed to sit with for a moment," Page told McBee, "because the backlash right now is so intense. But the rhetoric coming from anti-trans activists and anti-LGBTQ activists—it's devastating. These bills are going to be responsible for the death of children. It is that simple. So [talking to Oprah] felt like an opportunity to use a wide-reaching platform to speak from my heart about some of my experience and the resources I've been able to access—whether therapy or surgery—that have allowed me to be alive, to live my life."

Page continued: "I don't want it to sound like, 'Look at me.' It's not that at all. Actually, I was really nervous. But I thought about it for a bit, and it just felt like, Okay, the GOP basically wants to destroy the lives of trans kids and stop the Equality Act. How do you not use this platform?"

Asked how individuals could best assist in fighting the anti-trans legislation, Page said, "Educate yourself about bills in your state. Look at the ACLU website; look at National Center for Transgender Equality and Transathlete. There's so much misinformation and lies, so please don't rely on news articles that frame this as a 'trans debate' or don't even include perspectives of trans people."

McBee also asked how Page balanced his newfound joy in finding his authentic self with this difficult moment.

"My feelings aren't really linear," Page replied. "I feel emerging joy and excitement one moment, and then in the next, profound sadness reading about people wanting to take gender-affirming health care away from children. I feel so grateful to be at this place in my life, and I want to use the strength I have to help in all the ways that I can. The reason you and I have the privileges we have is because people have sacrificed so much for so, so, so long and put everything on the line.

"I think it's about: How can I feel grateful for my joy, and embrace my joy, and allow myself to have that joy—but then put that joy and that love into action? How do I figure out a way to integrate those two feelings in terms of being a public person?"