Actor Elliot Page just became the first trans man to grace the cover of Time, following Laverne Cox as the first trans woman in 2014. Fuck yeah.

The Juno and Umbrella Academy star celebrated the landmark moment on Instagram and Twitter.

“With deep respect for those who came before me, gratitude for those who have supported me and great concern for the generation of trans youth we must all protect, please join me and decry anti-trans legislation, hate and discrimination in all its forms.” 

In the Time story, his first interview since coming out as trans in December 2020, Elliot Page spoke about his early feelings of gender dysphoria, growing up in Nova Scotia, Canada.

At age 9, he was finally allowed to cut his hair short. “I felt like a boy,” Elliot said. “I wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”

But his acting career constrained his gender expression, forcing him to “look a certain way” to land roles. When he rose to worldwide acclaim with his role in indie favourite Juno, he struggled with the expectation to publicly present as feminine, especially on red carpets and in magazines.

“I just never recognised myself,” Elliot said. “For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself.”

His success, paired with gender expectations that did not align with his understanding of himself, led to him suffering from depression, anxiety and panic attacks.

Last year, in the wake of his separation from his wife Emma Portner, and the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Elliot had time to grapple with his gender identity. He was inspired by Laverne Cox and Janet Mock, and saw himself in the writing of P. Carl.

“I was finally able to embrace being transgender, and letting myself fully become who I am,” he said.

He also spoke about how he felt in the period immediately before and after December’s public statement.

“[I felt] this feeling of true excitement and deep gratitude to have made it to this point in my life, mixed with a lot of fear and anxiety,” he said.

“What I was anticipating was a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia. That’s essentially what happened.”

When Elliot Page released his statement, he was recovering from top surgery in Toronto, a decision that he described as “not only life-changing but lifesaving”.

And now he wants to use his “privilege and platform” to help other trans people who don’t have access to the resources that he does. “My privilege has allowed me to have resources to get through and to be where I am today,” he admitted.

He engaged on the subject of damaging myths of gender essentialism, with people campaigning against trans women in public bathrooms and pools, like those spouted by J.K. Rowling.

“Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric every day you’re seeing our existence debated,” Elliot said. “Transgender people are so very real.

“We know who we are. 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.”

In 2021, Elliot Page is excited to return to acting, “now that I’m fully who I am”.

“No matter the challenges and difficult moments of this, nothing amounts to getting to feel how I feel now.”

Read the full interview with Elliot Page here.

Elliot Page’s Time photoshoot has already been widely praised on Twitter, including by fellow actor Mark Ruffalo and activist Monica Lewinsky.

Ruffalo wrote, “Another historical milestone was crossed towards inclusion fairness and our common humanity.”

The author of the story, Katy Steinmetz, wrote on Twitter: “I was so honored to help @TheElliotPage tell his story. He was kind and open and I share his hope that the world learns to embrace all our beautiful complexities.” 

An advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community since he came out as gay in 2014, Elliot Page shared that he is trans in a letter in December last year.

“Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot,” he wrote on social media at the time.

“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self.”

We can only hope that Elliot so candidly expressing his experience can help other people to feel empowered to embrace their true selves. One more time for those in the back: fuck yeah, Elliot Page.

Image: Getty Images / Jason LaVeris