Elliot Page Discusses Coming Out as Transgender and Finding Hope

says he experienced a mixture of feelings when he came out as transgender on an Instagram post in 2021.

“I felt utterly elated and beyond grateful to finally be in a place where I could accept and love myself and do what I needed to and wanted to,” the 37-year-old actor, director, and LGBTQ+ activist told the audience at the 2024 TIME100 Summit in New York City on Wednesday.

After a soulful live performance by Leslie Odom Jr. and opening remarks from TIME CEO Jessica Sibley, Page sat down with TIME Contributing Editor Sam Lansky to kick off a series of panel discussions featuring the global TIME100 community.

It’s been three years since the actor graced alongside his pet dog to share—in full for the first time—his journey towards publicly announcing that he is a gender non-binary transgender person.

“That cover, which was shot by a trans man, Wynne Neilly in Toronto, and having that opportunity, it meant so much,” Page said. “It was also very overwhelming, as you can imagine,” he said, adding that he was experiencing trans joy alongside feelings of anxiety, grief and anger.

Since then, Page has been busy with a number of personal and professional projects. He filmed two more seasons of popular Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, which streams its fourth season in August, and published an instantly bestselling memoir Pageboy in June 2023, which is out in paperback next month.

“Steve [Blackman], the showrunner of Umbrella, is actually one of the first people I came out to,” Page told Lansky of the show’s creator. He had starred in two seasons of the series before he announced that he was transgender, but later worked with Blackman to weave his transition into his character’s storyline alongside pursuing gender affirming surgery.

“I called him nervously and he was incredible,” recalls Page. “If anything, he was the one who was very insistent on immediately having it be a part of the show and supported me to be able to access the care I was hoping to get at that time.”

Page added that Hollywood still has a “lack of representation for trans people,” but said he looks forward to being able to tackle varied roles and stories. These characters, he notes, may be easier to embody now that he has transitioned. “To get to start from the foundation of just being there is so thrilling,” Page said.

Page made waves when he starred in Jason Reitman’s 2007 film Juno as the titular protagonist, a loveable yet loud mouthed pregnant teenager. The actor earned an Oscar nomination for his performance but struggled with panic attacks while suppressing his gender identity.

The actor also held prominent roles in the X-men franchise in 2006 and 2014, as well as Christopher Nolan’s 2010 film Inception.

But between Page’s recent memoir and his independent feature film Close to You—which will open in theaters on Aug. 16—the actor has found “joy” in stepping into more writing roles. “So much of my mind had been occupied by unhealthy, toxic thinking and now I have the space where my consciousness is just like flowing,” Page said, adding that writing is one of his favorite things to do post-transition.

In the decade since Page was outed as gay on the X-men film set in 2014, he has developed into a prominent LGBTQ+ activist. He has also been a vocal advocate against the proposed rollback of laws in Alberta, Canada, to protect trans people, which he said runs parallel to similar regression in the U.S.

“Sometimes I think Canada hides behind a bit of its branding,” said Page, who was born in Canada. He adds that the “same anti trans rhetoric, misinformation” is perpetuated by Canadian politicians and high profile figures.

But nonetheless, Page said he still manages to find some moments of hope within his community and among those who wish to make the world a better place. Among those he finds inspiring are British writer Travis Alabanza and Canadian filmmaker Chase Joynt. “Hope for me is for those who continuously resist and support each other.”

The TIME100 Summit convenes leaders from the global TIME100 community to spotlight solutions and encourage action toward a better world. This year’s summit features a variety of speakers across a diverse range of sectors, including politics, business, health and science, culture, and more.

Speakers for the 2024 TIME 100 Summit include designer Tory Burch, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, WNBA champion A’ja Wilson, author Margaret Atwood, NYSE president Lynn Martin, comedian Alex Edelman, professor Yoshua Bengio, 68th Secretary of State John Kerry, actor Jane Fonda, and many more.

The TIME100 Summit was presented by Booking.com, Citi, Merck, Northern Data Group, Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky, and Verizon.