Elliot Page is speaking out for the first time in an interview since he publicly revealed he is transgender and making history as the first openly transgender man to appear on the cover of Time magazine.
“What I was anticipating was a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia,” Page told Time in a story published Tuesday.
“That’s essentially what happened.”
The "Umbrella Academy" star first shared his announcement on Instagram in December, writing, "I can't begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self."
“I just never recognized myself," Page told Time. "For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself," said the "Juno" actor, who had a tough time watching films in which he portrayed more feminine characters.
Being stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Page said, helped him to "focus on things" that he was "unconsciously" avoiding. "I was finally able to embrace being transgender and letting myself fully become who I am," he said.
Getting top surgery last year "completely transformed" Page's life, he said. The Academy Award-nominated entertainer noted that while being transgender isn't all about getting surgery, he said for him, it was "not only life-changing but lifesaving."
Since his Instagram post last year, Page's team said he's gotten more offers for acting gigs than he has in years, both for transgender parts but also "dude roles."
The politically active actor has been vocal about condemning legislative efforts to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls and women's sports teams.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is expected to sign a bill on Thursday that would call on schools in the state, as well as colleges and universities, to designate all sports teams for men and boys, women and girls, or “coed."
Thirty-four-year-old Page played competitive soccer as a kid and said he remembered the feeling of being told he would have to play on the girls' team. In places that restrict transgender sports, Page said, "I would have been in that position as a kid."
"It's horrific," he added.
"My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today, and of course I want to use that privilege and platform to help in the ways I can," he said.
"We know who we are," Page said, responding to political attacks against transgender people. "People cling to these firm ideas [about gender] because it makes people feel safe. But if we could just celebrate all the wonderful complexities of people, the world would be such a better place.”