America is a far more progressive place than it once was, especially with regard to LGBTQ issues. In fact, the last four years may have been in part an outraged response to how progressive the average American has become.
As tolerant and inclusive as many people are now, though, the fear and trauma around coming out as trans is still something most cisgender heterosexuals will never quite know or understand.
That’s why it was commendable and brave on Tuesday when Juno and Umbrella Academy star Elliot Page did so with a powerful letter on Twitter.
— Elliot Page (@TheElliotPage) December 1, 2020
Page’s letter was much more than a rote announcement of their new pronouns. (“He” and “them,” if you’re wondering.) It put into context a very personal journey toward this realization, and some of the factors that make it terrifying to go public with it:
“My joy is real, but it is also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now, and knowing how much privilege I carry, I’m also scared. I’m scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the ‘jokes,’ and of violence. To be clear, I am not trying to dampen a moment that is joyous and one that I celebrate, but I also want to address the full picture. The statistics are staggering. The discrimination towards trans people is rife, insidious, and cruel, resulting in horrific consequences. 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. To the political leaders who work to criminalize trans health care and deny our right to exist and to all those with a massive platform who continue to spew hostility towards the trans community: you have blood on your hands. You unleash a fury of vile and demeaning rage that lands on the shoulders of the trans community, a community in which 40% of trans adults report attempting suicide. Enough is enough. You aren’t being ‘cancelled,’ you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we won’t be silent in the face of your attacks.”
Not only does Page’s announcement mean that the star is firmly on the pathway to leading their most authentic life, it also means that the trans community will have another fierce and fearless high-profile advocate to raise awareness of trans issues. Considering how much there is to applaud in Page’s coming out, a lot of people celebrated the star on Twitter.
Many organizations also reached out to commend Page.
.@TheElliotPage has given us fantastic characters on-screen, and has been an outspoken advocate for all LGBTQ people. Elliot will now be an inspiration to countless trans and non-binary people. We celebrate him. All trans people deserve to be accepted. https://t.co/Ba7HOBgU5G pic.twitter.com/qFR1qG4H6q
— GLAAD (@glaad) December 1, 2020
Thank you @TheElliotPage for being an advocate for LGBTQ youth and a longtime supporter of our crisis services ????
We are so grateful to have trans possibility models like you to inspire us both on and off screen ???????????? https://t.co/LbxzMlvX61
— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) December 1, 2020
Proud to support #sagaftra member @TheElliotPage & trans and non-binary people being and working as their authentic selves. We will continue to help ensure the media and entertainment industry is a safe space regardless of gender identity or expression.
— SAG-AFTRA (@sagaftra) December 1, 2020
So did several members of the trans community.
— Peppermint (@Peppermint247) December 1, 2020
Congrats Elliot. Welcome to the family!
— Jen Richards (@SmartAssJen) December 1, 2020
Welcome to the team, Elliot!
We are overjoyed to have you and are here to lift you up when times are tough, to have your back when things get rough, and to celebrate you and all your joy! https://t.co/x5xZuL3O2V
— Zeke Smith (@zekerchief) December 1, 2020
So happy for Elliot to have embraced himself like this. I've been a fan of their work for so long. Lovely to see more and more of my siblings being themselves for all to see. https://t.co/YXTzz9uvYz
— Riley Silverman (@rileyjsilverman) December 1, 2020
— Jazz Jennings (@JazzJennings__) December 1, 2020
And a lot of celebrities, colleagues, and other public figures of all stripes reached out to offer love and support to Page.
I've been a fan of Elliot's for a very long time and am excited to see him continue his fantastic work in the years to come. https://t.co/2KAdiCIyi4
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) December 1, 2020
What a thoughtful, generous note. I long for the day when “coming out” isn’t necessary because no one ever has to spend time “in” BUT until then, I appreciate people who share their journeys in order to light the path for the rest of us. https://t.co/ijlIswin5S
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) December 1, 2020
Congratulations Elliot. ❤️ https://t.co/cXtqyiWEXx
— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) December 1, 2020
Profound love and admiration for you @TheElliotPage !! Your strength, bravery and activism – not to mention all the art you contribute to this earth – is truly special. Thank you for being so open about your journey and for fighting so hard to make the world a better place. ❤️❤️ https://t.co/2WLs0eT49v
— Tegan and Sara (@teganandsara) December 1, 2020
Elliot! I’ve been a fan for a long time, and I’m so excited to see all the amazing things you continue to do in the future. ❤️???????????????? https://t.co/woScok3g5R
— Melissa Fumero (@melissafumero) December 1, 2020
I had the pleasure of meeting @TheElliotPage when he was a guest on the @JohnFugelsang radio show. Such an incredibly nice person (we geeked out over @JamesGunn's SUPER). Very happy for you, Elliot, you are an inspiration. https://t.co/jSkkyk96C2
— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) December 1, 2020
— @realSarahPolley (@realsarahpolley) December 1, 2020
I ❤️ you Elliot. https://t.co/woFRUUCUoD
— Olivia Munn (@oliviamunn) December 1, 2020
Elliot, I love you, so much, I’m proud of you, and admire you. Please keep being a beacon of courage, compassion, and strength for all of us. ????❤️???? https://t.co/iw4wBahA1C
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) December 1, 2020
Celebrating for @TheElliotPage today!!! ???? ❤️
— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) December 1, 2020
Welcome to your next great adventure, @TheElliotPage !
— Lucy Lawless (@RealLucyLawless) December 1, 2020
Thank you for being authentically you & sharing yourself with the world! Sending you all the love and congrats ????✨
— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) December 1, 2020
— Amy Seimetz (@amy_seimetz) December 1, 2020
Big congratulations to Elliot. This is amazing. It’s going to mean so much to so many people in the world. ❤️ https://t.co/6ndSWSorSH
— Jameela Jamil ???? (@jameelajamil) December 1, 2020
❤️ We love you, Elliot ????????♂️
— Adam Rippon (@AdamRippon) December 1, 2020
Much love to Elliot Page from Fast Company.