Actor and producer Elliot Page was born on February 21, 1987 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and grew up there with his mother, a teacher, and father, a graphic designer. Page was assigned female at birth and came out as a trans man in December 2020. He attended school in Halifax, graduating from the Shambhala School where he practiced yoga and meditation. “My final year of high school was in a Buddhist high school, and everyone was somewhat queer,” he said in a 2015 Time magazine interview. “The joke was it was where all the kids in Halifax go to come out.”
Page started acting at the age of ten in Canadian film and television. His performance in his first major American film, the 2005 thriller Hard Candy, was praised, and two years later he was nominated, at the age of twenty, for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the titular role in the movie Juno. (He won more than twenty acting awards for the role, including the Independent Spirit Award.) Page has since appeared in numerous other films including X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Inception (2010), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), Freeheld (which he also produced, in 2015), Tallulah (actor/producer, 2016), My Days of Mercy and The Cured (actor/producer, 2017), and Flatliners (2017), as well as the series Tales of the City (2019). Page has also done voiceover work on a number of television shows, including Family Guy and The Simpsons, in the movies My Life as a Zucchini and Window Horses (both 2016), and for the video game Beyond: Two Souls. Since 2019, Page has played Viktor Hargreeves on the Netflix series The Umbrella Academy.
Page is a vegan and an environmentalist who studied permaculture design. His directorial debut, which he also produced with Ian Daniel, was the documentary There’s Something in the Water (2019), an examination of environmental racism. He also narrated the documentary Vanishing of the Bees (2009), and appeared in Time for Change (2012), a film about sustainable ecology.
In 2014 Page came out as gay in a speech at the Human Rights Campaign conference, saying he felt it was both a personal obligation and a social responsibility. In January 2018 he married Emma Portner, a dancer and choreographer. (The two divorced in 2021.) As a strong LGBTQIA+ activist, Page has criticized the binary rigidity of the film industry. Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2019, in an emotionally powerful statement that later went viral, Page specifically called out Vice President Mike Pence for the harm he’s caused LGBTQIA+ people, “Connect the dots,” he said, “If you are in a position of power, and you hate people…and you spend your career trying to cause suffering, what do you think is going to happen? Kids are going to be abused, and they’re going to kill themselves, and people are going to be beaten on the street.”
As co-host and producer of the reality series Gaycation (2016-17), he and Ian Daniel traveled around the world exploring the challenges and experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals and communities in Japan, Brazil, India, Ukraine, and the US. Page was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for the series.
Prompted by experiences during the COVID pandemic and growing anti-trans rhetoric in politics, Page came out as transgender in December 2020 on social media, stating,
I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self… I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse, and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.
Subsequently, his character in the series The Umbrella Academy, also came out as trans. He was nominated for a Teen Choice Award for the role in 2019, an MTV Movie & TV Award in 2021, and a Critics’ Choice Super Award in 2023. Page appeared on the cover of Time magazine in 2021, the first openly trans man to do so, requesting that a trans photographer take the portrait. In the article, Page stated that he had known he was a boy from a very young age, “I felt like a boy….I wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”
Page has been vocal about religiously-motivated intolerance in the United States. Noting that religion doesn’t have as much of an influence on politics and law in Canada as it does in the US. “The anti-gay rhetoric of the right is turning into, ‘Gays are actually bigoted against us because we don’t get to express our religious freedom,’” he remarked in the 2015 Time magazine interview. “Please do not devalue our love. Do not make us compromise on how we share our love with another person. Saying that we cannot get married like heterosexual people can, that is what you’re doing. Please don’t give me this religious rhetoric.” He further remarked, “Religion has always been used for beautiful things, and also as a way to justify discrimination—whether it’s gender, or race, or the LGBTQ community, or what have you. Personally, I’m an atheist, so I just have no time for it.”
His memoir Pageboy was published earlier this year and is currently on the New York Times bestseller list.
“Religion has always been used for beautiful things, and also as a way to justify discrimination—whether it’s gender, or race, or the LGBTQ community, or what have you.”
The post <em>Humanist Profile:</em> Elliot Page appeared first on TheHumanist.com.