Empowering Facts About Elliot Page, Hollywood's Transgender Icon

July 31, 2023 | Nur Karageldi

Empowering Facts About Elliot Page, Hollywood's Transgender Icon

From his captivating on-screen portrayals in beloved films like Juno to his fearless journey of self-discovery as a transgender icon, Page has revolutionized the very essence of identity. But it wasn’t easy at all. 

1. He Knew He Was Happy 

Elliot Page—born in February 1987—grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with a designer father and schoolteacher mother. Born with the name Ellen and identifying as a female, Page struggled with a profound sense of discomfort and emotional pain from an early age because he didn’t feel comfortable in his own skin. 

This led to some dire consequences early on. 

Elliot Page wearing black suit is looking at camera and smiling - 2022Tinseltown , Shutterstock

2. He Was A Miserable Kid

Page didn’t quite know the reason behind this discomfort, yet it affected him deeply. He was a depressed, peculiar kid—who often resorted to self-harm. Page confessed that he used to hit his head with a hairbrush since he hated the woman he saw in the mirror. He later revealed that, even at the age of nine, "I felt like a boy ... I wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday".

Shouldering so much misery, he finally saw a way out.  

Elliot Page wearing black hoodie and grey coat is looking at camera - 2021Elliot Page, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

3. He Began Acting

Starting his acting career at the young age of ten, Page sought shelter in imitating different lives. His first gig was a movie called Pit Pony in 1997. The success of the movie led to a spin-off television series of the same name, which ran from 1999 to 2000. People soon discovered Page’s talent as he got a nomination for a Young Artist Award.

But there was nothing more dangerous than a confused kid in show business. 

Elliot Page is smiling and looking at side in darkness - from  Pit Pony (1997)Canadian Broadcasting Corporation , Pit Pony (1997)

4. He Had A Stalker

As a 16-year-old actor, Page lived alone in Toronto. One day, he met an older male fan on social media, whose intentions quickly became terrifying. He faced a distressing situation when this man began stalking him, causing him to fear for his safety. According to his memoir Pageboy"He would attach pictures of me with my eyes closed, and photoshop himself with massive angel wings above me, glaring down".

Fearing for his life, Page confided in his father—but did not get the response he expected.

Elliot Page is looking at camera and smiling - 2015https://www.flickr.com/photos/greg2600/, CC BY-SA 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

5. His Father Let Him Down

Page sought support from his father, not knowing that this conversation would be emotionally scarring. When Page called his father and explained what happened, his father started yelling at him. Far from being supportive, he threatened to come to Toronto and beat Page up.

Luckily, authorities eventually apprehended Page's stalker, who received a diagnosis of schizoprenia. But Page's coming-of-age story had even more terrifying chapters in store.

Elliot Page wearing black jacket is smiling and looking at side - 2010GabboT, CC BY 2.0 ,Wikimedia Commons

6. He Had A New Project

Page eventually relocated to California to pursue more jobs, and landed his biggest role yet. He scored a complex part in the movie Hard Candy and he was excited to undertake such a challenge. It was a his first big break—but little did he know, the role was the least challenging part of that project. 

Elliot Page wearing red hoodie and looking at side - from Hard Candy (2005)Vulcan Productions , Hard Candy (2005)

7. He Has Horrifying Memories

While filming the movie, Page was a minor and sought support and mentorship from his fellow cast members. Tragically, he got the opposite. In Page's memoir, he disclosed an incident between himself and a member of the Hard Candy's production team. He recalled that this member first gained his trust, but then shattered his life to pieces. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page looking at side - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Killer Films, My Days of Mercy (2017)

8. He Felt Helpless

According to Elliot Page’s account, a co-worker offered the actor a ride home. When they reached home, he then proceeded with another offer—an inappropriate one: "His voice sweet, his hands on my shoulders, he guided me to the bedroom. I went stiff. Unsure what to do as he stood tall and removed his glasses". 

Page reported he felt a sense of unease, but there was no one who could help him. The anonymous crew member forced himself on page. It was a horrifying moment—but this was only the beginning.

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking down with sad face - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Killer Films, My Days of Mercy (2017)

9. He Was A Target

It wasn't just the crew members who took advantage of Elliot's vulnerability as a young actor, there was a similar encounter with a director too. Reportedly, there was an unnamed director who groomed Page and pretended to be his friend. Page considered this man his mentor, that is, until he showed his dark side. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page wearing red hoodie is looking at camera - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

10. The Director Scarred Him

When Page was still a teenager, a director took him out to dinner—just as friends do right? Well, not really. While sharing a meal, he caressed Page's leg beneath the table. Horrified and distressed, Page heard him utter the words, "You have to make the move, I can't". Faced with so much trauma in Hollywood, he became increasingly drawn to disturbing roles.

Elliot Page is looking at side and smiling - 2010Tristan Loper, CC BY 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

11. He Played A Traumatized Character

Page's harrowing experiences had a big impact on his approach to acting. This led him to portray Sylvia Likens in the film An American Crime, which depicted the tragic true story of a young girl who had gone through similar harrowing experiences. Page empathized with this character, which resulted in a breathtaking yet alarming performance. 

Elliot Page with long hair wearing yellow shirt is looking at side - from An American Crime (2007)First Look Studios , An American Crime (2007)

12. He Was Melancholic

Critics celebrated Page's natural ease and lack of artificiality in the movie—but when you looked deeper, you saw the heartbreaking reason behind all of it. He was no stranger to predacious behavior and admitted, "...it was something I was interested in tackling". However, behind the scenes, Page struggled more than ever with his mental health.

Screenshot: Elliot Page laying on the floor with crying face - from An American Crime (2007)First Look Studios , An American Crime (2007)

13. He Played An Iconic Role

At the age of 20, Elliot Page scored the lead in an inspiring movie—Juno. This time, he had to portray a 16-year-old who unexpectedly finds herself pregnant. 

The film achieved immense commercial success, while Page's outstanding performance earned him a nomination for the Best Actress Oscar. Nonetheless, these outstanding accomplishments weren't even the best part of making this movie. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page looking at side with upset face - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

14. Someone Enticed Him

While making the movie, Page became friends with Olivia Thirlby, who portrayed Juno's best friend Leah in the film. However, they weren’t just friends because there was an instant attraction, which quickly turned into a romantic relationship. In his memoir, Page described being smitten by Thirlby's "older, capable, and centered" demeanor, feeling drawn to her in a way that was different from his previous experiences.

Photo of Olivia Thirlby looking and smiling at camera - 2012Tony Shek, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

15. He Had A Secret Affair

In no time, Page and Thirlby became a thing—and of course, this was a secret. In his memoir, Page disclosed engaging in intimate encounters with Thirlby in various locations, including Thirlby's hotel room, trailers on the film set, and even a small private room in a restaurant. They were having the best time of their lives, but they had to stay in the shadows. 

Screenshot: Olivia Thirlby is talking on telephone - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

16. She Taught Him Something

Thirlby was an important chapter in Page’s road to discovering his true identity. As he put it, “Being intimate with Olivia helped my shame dissipate. I didn't see a glint of it in her eyes and I wanted that—done feeling wretched about who I am”. Although this relationship didn’t outlast the movie, Page walked away with some formative core memories.

Still, he had a long way to go. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page laying on the bed and holding a car toy - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

17. He Had The Chance To Work With Someone

Since Juno was an enormous success, Elliot Page’s value in Hollywood skyrocketed. In 2011, Woody Allen offered him a role in his upcoming movie, which was an opportunity nobody in Hollywood would refuse. Page did the movie To Rome with Love the next year, and it turned out that he despised himself for making this decision. 

Woody Allen looking at side - 2006Colin Swan, CC BY-SA 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

18. He Succumbed To Pressure 

Page later confessed that he deeply regretted his decision to work with Allen. He noted that he felt pressured to accept the opportunity, and he never wanted to do it in the first place. He stated, "I am ashamed I did this. I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now". Fortunately, what came next gave him some peace of mind. 

Elliot Page looking at side - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

19. He Was A Character In A Video Game

In 2012, Page ventured into the world of video games. He did a voice-over and a motion capture for the video game  Beyond : Two Souls, which received critical acclaim. Page earned various awards and nominations for his role, including the British Academy Games Award for Best Performer. However, he noticed something iffy when another video game hit the market in 2013. 

Elliot Page wearing red lipstick looking at side - 2009Elliot_Page_at_TIFF_2009.jpg: Josh Jensen from Toronto, Ontario, Canada / *derivative work: Tabercil, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

20. Another Character Really Looked Like Him

In 2013, the iconic video game The Last of Us dominated the market, yet Page had a different problem with the game. He was disturbed by the striking resemblance between him and the character Ellie, accusing the production of using his image without permission. Following Page's complaint, producers redesigned the character's appearance. 

Little did they know, Page was about to change his image too. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking at side with sad face - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

21. He Faced His Fears And Spoke Up

On February 14, 2014, Page attended a Human Rights Campaign in Las Vegas—an event that hosted an important moment in his life. At the conference, Page gave a speech, sharing his personal journey and bravely coming out as gay. Although this was a significant moment for him, it wasn’t the first time his sexual orientation was a hot topic of conversation. 

The first time was far more scandalous.

Elliot Page wearing black jacket is smiling and looking down in front of a microphone. - 2013Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

22. Someone Humiliated Him

Years before he came out—while he was working in X-Men: The Last Stand—Page was the center of a very inappropriate comment. The commenter was the filmmaker Brett Ratner, and the comment involved outing Page as gay. Not only did Ratner cross the line by saying Page was gay in front of the whole crew, but he also made prejudiced comments and humiliated her during the “meet and greet” of the movie. 

Brett Ratner with beard is smiling - 2012David Shankbone, CC BY 3.0 ,Wikimedia Commons

23. He Had A Witness 

In a Facebook post, Page spoke up about Ratner's awful behavior. He noted that he hadn’t fully come to terms with his own sexual orientation at the time. Anna Paquin—another actor from the X-Men series—corroborated Page's account and expressed support for him, confirming that she was present when the comment was made.

But if Page thought it would be easier to put up with this stuff once he'd come out—he was so wrong. 

Anna Paquin is looking up on black background - 2012Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

24. He Had A Cursed Interaction

Since he was officially out as gay, Elliot Page faced another kind of humiliation: men telling him that this was only a phase. In his memoir, Page recounted a story in which he had a similar conversation with a very famous actor—who remained anonymous—at a party. According to Page, this was more of a monologue than a conversation. Sadly, it was not a respectful one. 

Elliot Page wearing blue shirt and blue tie looking at side and smiling - 2014Jaguar PS, Shutterstock

25. He Felt Degraded 

That day at the party, the unnamed actor made derogatory comments to Page, telling him that being gay "doesn't exist". But that wasn't the horrifying part. This actor even threatened to sleep with Page to make him realize that he was actually straight. He said this all unashamedly, with many witnesses around.

Page held his head up high, hoping to never see this man again, but guess what happened a few days later? 

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking surprised at side - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

26. He Confronted Him

Several days later, Page encountered the same actor at the gym. In an unusual manner, the actor apologized, claiming to have no problem with gay people. Page then confronted him, expressing his belief that the actor did indeed have a problem with gay folks. Unfortunately, when it came to such harassment, the nightmare was just beginning. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page wearing green shirt is looking at side - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Killer Films, My Days of Mercy (2017)

27. He Had A Jarring Encounter

During this period, Page experienced some seriously distressing incidents. On one occasion, he encountered an unidentified angry man who shouted slurs at him in Los Angeles. The man not only didn’t stop, but his manner intensified. Horrified, Page found himself frozen and unable to respond, fearing that any action might escalate the situation. He was right, but it was too late. 

Elliot Page wearing grey sweater is looking at side - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Killer Films, My Days of Mercy (2017)

28. He Tried To Save Himself 

Wishing to smoothly escape this confrontation, Page called his partner. But this call had an adverse effect on the whole situation. The belligerent man seemed "triggered," accusing the actor of talking about him. Having nothing left to do, Page began running towards a store for safety—but the man was right behind him. 

Elliot Page wearing black dress and red lipstick is looking at side - 2013Kathy Hutchins, Shutterstock

29. He Got Help

This cat-and-mouse game came to an end once Page found sanctuary inside the store. The employees locked the man out as he screamed and screamed. The other employees tried to comfort Page because he was petrified. He was sick of all the negativity surrounding him—but luckily, some happy days were just around the corner. 

Elliot Page is looking at camera - from The Umbrella Academy (TV series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

30. He Had His Eyes On Someone 

When the production for the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past began that year, Page stepped foot on the set as a proud gay woman. According to his memoir, Page had an instant attraction to someone, saying, "The first person I fell for after my heart was broken was Kate Mara”. Nevertheless, he thought this was a hopeless case—and for good reason.

Kate Mara is smiling and looking at camera - 2006Anonymous author; see ticket, CC BY-SA 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

31. He Was Trapped In A Love Triangle

At the time, Mara was in a relationship with Max Minghella, yet this somehow wasn’t an obstacle for Page. As she put it, Minghella was okay with Mara exploring her connection with Page. He stated that "This was right after I'd come out as gay [in 2014] and it was a time of exploration and also heartbreak... Max was supportive of Kate and me". 

Even though the couple didn’t have a problem with Page’s involvement, Page felt differently.

Max Minghella wearing grey suit is looking at camera - 2010Peabody Awards, CC BY 2.0 , Wikimedia Commons

32. He Couldn't Take It Anymore

Page began recognizing a pattern in his life—he often fell for people who were not fully available. No matter how he felt towards Mara, his romantic patterns were exhausting. Due to this reason, he slowly distanced himself from this web of intrigue and finally ended his “situationship” with Mara, wanting to remain friends instead. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page is seating inside a car - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

33. They Stayed Friends

Even though Mara and Page ended their affair by the end of the movie, their paths crossed again when they played a couple in the film My Days of Mercy. Despite no longer being a couple, they were comfortable with being around each other, and even played a couple. Since then, the two remain good friends. 

Even though this relationship had a relatively happy ending, the next one absolutely did not.

Screenshot: Elliot Page and Kate Mara  standing next to each other - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Killer Films, My Days of Mercy (2017)

34. He Had A Secret Affair, Again

Elliot Page revealed a lot in his memoir Pageboy, but he didn’t want to disclose this particular person who he had a secret relationship with. He referred to his lover as “Ryan” and all we know is that Ryan was once his co-star. They fell deeply in love, but they were discreet. They had intimate moments in unconventional locations: "On rocks, just below the Pacific Coast Highway, hidden in boulders in Joshua Tree National Park, on an airplane".

But amidst this blossoming love, heartache threatened to tear them apart.

Screenshot: Elliot Page wearing grey shirt is looking at side - from The Umbrella Academy (TV series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

35. They Lied

When Page was about to meet Ryan’s parents, Ryan asked him to hide it from them and referred to Page as a friend during the family gathering. As if this wasn’t enough, Page had to save this woman’s name as "Ryan" on his cell phone too. Despite the intensity of their love and connection, the secrecy surrounding their relationship took a toll on both of them.

Screenshot: Elliot Page wearing black hoodie is standing next to man in red shirt - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

36. She Broke Up With Him

As Ryan went to extreme lengths to hide the truth, the relationship became unbearable. Despite all of it, Page was determined to make it work—but Ryan wasn’t. Reportedly, Ryan had had enough of the “lying, the anxiety, and the disgust” and she eventually broke up with Page, breaking his heart pretty badly. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page wearing red hoodie is looking at camera - from Juno (2007)Mandate Pictures, Juno (2007)

37. He Played An Unforgettable Character

In 2017, Page landed the lead role in a popular superhero series called The Umbrella Academy. Besides the show’s commercial success, Page got a huge career boost as an actor. People loved his performance, which led to a nomination for the Saturn Award. 

He was finally happy with where he was career-wise, but he wanted someone to share this happiness. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking at camera - from The Umbrella Academy (Tv Series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (Tv Series)

38. He Took A Chance

The very same year, while Page scrolled through social media, a very special person caught his eye. This was a woman named Emma Portner—a dancer. After seeing her dance videos, Page felt compelled to message her, and he did. This message was enough for both of them to connect, and the rest was history. 

Ellen Page (Elliot Page) and Emma Portner wearing black suits are smiling and looking at camera - 2019.lev radin, Shutterstock

39. He Married A Dancer

Wasting no time to start a life together, Page and Portner moved at the speed of light. Although they preferred not to disclose the exact date and ceremony details, Page announced their marriage on January 3, 2018 through an Instagram post featuring photos of the couple wearing wedding rings. 

Although Page’s post with a wedding ring garnered some attention, this wasn't the only post that excited fans on social media.

Elliot Page wearing blue shirt and green tie is looking at camera - 2014Featureflash Photo Agency, Shutterstock

40. He Posted A Controversial Pic

During 2019's Pride Month, Page and his partner celebrated the occasion with a heartfelt post. For them, it was wholesome—but for other people, it was controversial. This was a black-and-white picture of the two kissing—and wearing nothing. Not giving a darn what people would say, Page boldly posted this picture with the caption “HAPPY PRIDE!!! Sending love”. 

Elliot Page is looking in someone's face up - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Killer Films, My Days of Mercy (2017)

41. He Came Out As Transgender 

In December 2020, Page made his most courageous move of all. He publicly came out as transgender on his social media accounts—revealing his new name as Elliot and specifying his pronouns as he and they. Six years after coming out as gay, Page’s new revelation inspired lots of people, proving that social media might not always be a hateful place. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking at front - from The Umbrella Academy (Tv Series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

42. People Supported Him

Page’s announcement—which came at a time when there was prevalent anti-transgender rhetoric in politics and the media—received very positive comments. Following the announcement, GLAAD spokesperson Nick Adams praised him as an inspiration for countless transgender individuals while Page's wife Portner publicly expressed her pride in him. 

Although Page appreciated the support, his only family members had some surprising reactions.

Screenshot: Elliot Page is standing and looking at people - from The Umbrella Academy (Tv Series)https://www.nbcuniversal.com/brands

43. He Broke The News

All Elliot Page ever wanted from his divorced parents was support. Therefore, he was over the moon when his mother was understanding and supportive. She even expressed regret over how she'd dealt with Page's sexuality in the past. However, his relationship with his father was a completely different story.

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking at side upset - from My Days of Mercy (2017)Killer Films, My Days of Mercy (2017)

44. His Father Crossed The Line

According to Page, his father continues to be far from accepting of him. After coming out as trans, Page felt disappointed and sad to distance himself from his father and stepmother, but he was also incredibly angry. This was because his father actively supported those who made transphobic comments against him.

Page even said, "When [right-wing author] Jordan Peterson was let back on Twitter after he'd made a horrific tweet about me, he posted a video, just his head filling the frame. Staring menacingly into the camera, he said, 'We’ll see who cancels who.' My dad 'liked' it". Reportedly, they haven’t spoken for five and a half years.

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking upset at camera - from The Umbrella AcademyUniversal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

45. He Received More Attention

After a while, some bigger names—including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ellen DeGeneres—praised him and showed their support. But the most interesting response came from Netflix. After they showed their support with a tweet, they announced that they would update his credits and metadata across all titles to reflect his new name. 

Justin Trudeau wearing grey suit and red tie is looking at camera - 2021Justin Trudeau, CC BY 3.0 , Wikimedia Commons

46. He Transitioned On Screen Too

In the Netflix feature The Umbrella Academy, Page's character underwent a transition as well. Although this was incorporated into the storyline on purpose, it played out in the most heartwarming way. When Page’s character Viktor revealed his new identity to his superhero siblings in the series, their responses demonstrated approval and acceptance, with statements like "Cool," "I'm good with it," and "Yeah, me too".

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking at side with crying face - from The Umbrella Academy (Tv Series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

47. He Underwent Surgery

Around the time Page announced his transition to the world, he underwent top surgery, which is a male chest construction operation. He described the procedure as "life-saving," highlighting the significance of the surgery in his transition. But even though he now felt comfortable in his skin, he didn’t feel the same about his marriage. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page is looking at side with surprised face - from The Umbrella Academy (Tv Series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

48. He Filed For A Divorce

In 2021, Page and Portner marked the end of their fairytale journey. Three years after their secret 2018 wedding, Page filed for divorce. The couple announced their decision, stating, "We have the utmost respect for each other and remain close friends”. Page had a bittersweet feeling about the divorce, but there were great things on the horizon.

Emma Portner, Ellen (Elliot) Page wearing black jackets are looking at each other and smiling - 2018Kathy Hutchins , Shutterstock

 49. He Made History

In 2021, Page appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Being the first openly transgender man to appear on the cover, Page made history. More importantly, Page specifically requested transgender photographer Wynne Neilly to capture the cover image as a powerful display of representation. 

He had one more cover to pose for though, and this was even more special. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page looking down with sad face - from The Umbrella Academy (TV series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

50. He Was A Bestseller

A year later, Page announced the release date for his highly anticipated memoir, Pageboy. Unsurprisingly, the memoir has been an enormous success, debuting at the top spot on The New York Times Best Sellers List for Nonfiction upon its release in June 2023. 

Screenshot: Elliot Page wearing black hoodie looking up - from The Umbrella Academy (Tv Series)Universal Content Productions, The Umbrella Academy (TV series)

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