In a new interview with Esquire, Elliot Page opened up about the hardships he’s faced since coming out as transgender two years ago.
The Umbrella Academy actor said of dealing with transphobia, “Why are people making it more difficult? It really breaks my heart. It really breaks my heart. That’s literally all we’re trying to communicate,” he explained. “That’s what’s so funny to me. When people say, ‘Cancel this. Cancel that.’ No, they get four more comedy specials and have a jillion followers! The people getting canceled are the trans people who are suffering, or killing themselves, or murdered.”
Page, 35, said that “jokes have an impact that hurts people,” even if they’re not always meaning to. In reaction to being called “too sensitive” regarding transphobic jokes, Page pointed to the “stuff trans people deal with on a day-to-day basis,” before bringing up one of his own experiences with hate. He said that someone came up to him on the street and started screaming homophobic slurs at him: “I’m gonna kill you, you f—ing f—–! I’m gonna gay-bash you! This is why I need a gun!”
Page also recalled an instance where he was told he needed to wear a dress while promoting Juno back in 2007. “I dressed how I wanted to dress — not dissimilar to now. And I remember going and having the thing I wanted to wear, and then understanding the degree of expectation of how fancy someone is supposed to look,” Page said. “So I said I wanted to wear a suit, and Fox Searchlight was basically like, ‘No, you need to wear a dress,’ and they took me in a big rush to one of those fancy stores on Bloor Street. They had me wear a dress, and . … that was that. And then all the Juno press, all the photo shoots [costar] Michael Cera was in slacks and sneakers. I look back at the photos, and I’m like …?”
“And it’s easy for people to roll their eyes, but you know what? No. That was really extremely, extremely f—ed up,” he continued. “I shouldn’t have to treat it like just this thing that happened—this somewhat normal thing. It’s like: No. Regardless of me being trans! It doesn’t matter if I’m trans or cis. Lots of cis women dress how I dress. That has nothing to f—ing do with it.”