How often do you wish you had a do-over? The opportunity to say the right thing, make the perfect gesture, and experience a pivotal moment in your life on your own terms – it’s a beautiful dream.
LGBTQ+ individuals desperately understand the desire to time-travel. We would rocket back to the past, confront our demons before they consumed us, and love, love, love beyond the limitations of our upbringing.
No matter how successful you may be, this yearning for a better origin story is a dominant trope in queer culture. Case in point: Elliot Page. The Umbrella Academy star reflects on his breakout role, but wishes it were more of a coming-out role.
“I remember the premiere of Juno at the Toronto International Film Festival,” Page writes in Esquire. “I wanted to wear a suit, and Fox Searchlight was basically like, ‘No, you need to wear a dress.’”
Despite the burgeoning superstar’s offbeat appeal, the studio refused to listen.
“They had me wear a dress, and… that was that. And then all the Juno press, all the photo shoots—Michael Cera was in slacks and sneakers.”
Did someone order a double standard?
But the injustice was more than just a crime of fashion; it was a denial of passion. Audiences could have connected with their on-screen hero on profound new levels had Elliot been allowed to bring more facets of himself to the red carpet.
“People, especially teenage girls, really responded to that character, Juno,” Page writes. He was instrumental in styling the role, shopping at Vancouver vintage stores with one of the movie’s producers.
“It related to my queerness and my transness. And then you have that film have the success it had, and the major, major profit, between the film and the soundtrack—and then you f***ing squash that all away. You squash it. So you’re benefiting greatly from this character that connected with people, and then you do that. It’s gross.”
Immersed in the darkness of a sinister spotlight, Elliot continues down memory lane. “I wish people would understand that that shit literally did almost kill me.”
Summoning his appetite for the bittersweet, the actor declares, “I wish I could go back and experience it now. As me.”
When characterizing the journey from Ellen to Elliot, Page becomes truly inspiring. “I can’t overstate the biggest joy, which is really seeing yourself. I know I look different to others, but to me I’m just starting to look like myself. It’s indescribable, because I’m just like, there I am. And thank God. Here I am.”
And we’re so here for you, Elliot – then, now and forever.
Photo: Instagram @elliotpage
Last modified: June 24, 2022