PERSON OF THE MONTH
Present and Proud: Elliot Page
by Hülya AFAT
As the PRESENT Team, we are proud to celebrate Pride Month for the second year! Since the current pandemic was an unexpected opportunity for queer people to explore their sexuality and gender identity during isolation, many celebrities also came out as a part of the LGBTQ+ community which created both backlash and a sea of support from the public. In order to celebrate their achievements and queer identity, we chose Elliot Page as the Person of the Month for this month! Celebrating their identity is as important as acknowledging their path to arrive at this point, then let’s start with their early life and career.
Elliot Page was born on February 21, 1987, in Canada and was assigned as female at birth. Their acting career started at age ten and they took part in many successful projects. Their previous work includes Oscar winning Juno, the popular Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, and Oscar winning Inception. It would not be adequate to summarize their career with those three productions but it would be helpful to see the timeline and the eras of success. Their first big project and the opportunity to make their name heard at the time was with an Oscar nomination. After the success of Juno, their acting range expanded in various productions such as Simpsons or Smart People. Expectedly their talent was to be shown in many more popular projects such as Inception, the X-Men franchise, and the Star Wars franchise. As their projects kept getting bigger and more popular, their role in those projects became more important too. They produced many movies and lately, they directed a documentary in 2019 called There is Something in The Water. (1) (2)
During the hard year of the pandemic and the popularity of transphobia and homophobia heightened by some politicians and authors that we discussed previously, especially in the US, Elliot Page came out as a transgender man in December 2020. They announced their name change to Elliot and pronouns as he/they. In the most recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, who also interviewed Ellen DeGeneres first after her coming out in 1997, Page expressed their process of transition and top surgery as "Not only has it been life-changing for me, I do believe it's been life-saving and it's the case for so many people. And because there is such an attack on trans healthcare right now, when there's already such a lack of access."(3) They also became the first trans man to appear on the cover of Time Magazine in April with a profound and brutally honest interview about their struggle with identity since childhood and advocating for trans rights. They also emphasize the experience of being transgender is not all about the surgery, but the identity and expression of self. (4)
As they continue advocating for accessible healthcare for transgender people, their last post on Instagram where they celebrate owning their first swimming trunks and swimming topless is also celebrated by many. We hope that Page’s gender expression and the freedom of identity may inspire many others as they struggle to find their own voice. Neither Page’s career nor their queer journey has come close to an end, we wish to see more of them advocating for others and expressing themself proudly!