Elliot Page says he was forced to wear a dress for the 'Juno' premiere in Toronto

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·Lifestyle and News Editor
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Elliot Page spoke on the transphobia he faced after he came out to the world in December 2020. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Elliot Page spoke on the transphobia he faced after he came out to the world in December 2020. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Elliot Page has revealed some of the scarring pain and transphobia he's faced throughout his life.

In a piece for Esquire, the 35-year-old Canadian actor dished out various personal details and reflected on several challenges he's faced since coming out as transgender in December 2020.

One troubling incident the star recalled was being forced to wear a dress and heels while at the premiere for the hit coming-of-age indie movie, "Juno," at the Toronto International Film Festival. He told the studio, Fox Searchlight, he wanted to wear a suit, but he was rushed into a newly-bought dress while he watched co-star Michael Cera wear simple slacks and sneakers.

"When 'Juno' was at the height of its popularity, during awards season time, I was closeted, dressed in heels and the whole look — I wasn’t OK, and I didn’t know how to talk about that with anyone," Page explained.

Page revealed that that incident, while the film was "blowing up" in popularity, was particularly distressing when was in his 20s.

"I wish people would understand that that shit literally did almost kill me," he expressed, adding he's had to have many conversations playing "devil's advocate" with cisgender people claiming they could comfortably wear an article of clothing like a skirt.

"In my early to mid-20s, I didn’t know how to tell people how unwell I was," the actor continued. "I would berate myself for it. I was living the life and my dreams were coming true, and all that was happening. And yet, for example, when I was shooting 'Inception,' I could pretty much not leave whatever hotel I’d be staying in."

"The Umbrella Academy" star also explained how that period of his life had devastating effects on his mental health, often even impacting his acting career.

"I struggled with food. Intense depression, anxiety, severe panic attacks. I couldn’t function," Page noted. "There were days when I’d only have one meeting, and I’d leave my house to go to the meeting and have to turn around. Not being able to get through a script — could not. Reading is one of my favourite things to do — I couldn’t read, couldn’t get through a paragraph."

Even though Page received lots of love and praise from fans and other celebrities when he revealed on Twitter that he's transgender, daily experiences have still been difficult.

Now based in Los Angeles, the star recalled a nerve-wracking incident while he was simply trying to cross a road.

"This really big dude, less than an arm’s length away, was just screaming at me, 'You faggot! Don’t look at me! You faggot, faggot!' I couldn’t even just go, like, 'I’m not looking at you.' It was the one time I’d left the hotel that whole day. I was just trying to cross the street, and I couldn’t because it was Sunset Boulevard and there’s traffic," Page recalled, adding he was afraid of what the man could do.

"Eventually, after him yelling, 'Faggot! Faggot! Faggot!' some more, he started to walk off and I started to cross the street. And then he just started screaming, behind me, 'I’m gonna kill you, you fucking faggot! I’m gonna kill you, you fucking faggot!' Page continued. "I ran into a convenience store, and as I was opening the door he yelled, 'This is why I need a gun!'"

Still, there's a lot of positivity that comes out of Page's present-day life. He claims there's a "degree of creativity" that surges through him, adding that he "thought it was impossible" to feel like that.

But for Page, the biggest joy of transitioning is finally feeling in tune with his body.

"I know I look different to others, but to me I’m just starting to look like myself," he commented. "It’s indescribable, because I’m just like, there I am. And thank God. Here I am."

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