Elliot Page opens up to Oprah Winfrey in emotional first TV interview since coming out as transgender

By Zach Harper

Elliot Page says his transition has already given him a sense of comfort, happiness and and "ability to be present" for which he’s deeply grateful and thankful to be experiencing.

The 34-year-old Oscar nominee, who announced he’s transgender in December 2020, sat down with Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired April 30 as part of her new Apple+ series, The Oprah Conversation. Their wide-ranging talk focused on his decision to come out, his childhood experiences, the difficulties he went through in his early years in Hollywood and his hopes for his future and that of transgender youth.

"The degree of comfort, sense of home, ability to be present feels so profound and life-changing, and so, what I look forward to is getting to move through the world in that way and continue to become the person that I've always wanted to be and that I hope to be and keep working towards being," he said.

Since his announcement in December and his top surgery, he told Oprah he's had an "explosion of creativity." He’s been "devouring books," he said, has written his own screenplay and has also recorded an EP with his friend Mark, who took care of him when he was recovering from surgery.

"On some level, it feels like just the most miraculous, amazing thing, and it also is just sort of the experience of, 'Oh, there I am,'" he told Oprah of what he's been feeling since coming out and beginning his journey. "And a part of me was like 'Oh, my God, that… why was that so hard? Why? Why has society made getting to this place in my life [so hard] – 'cause that's the situation we're facing."

The Halifax native told Oprah he decided to come out after spending time mostly alone in Nova Scotia last year and having a period of reflection there.

"I think it really allowed me sort of a separating from [the Hollywood world] so to speak, for a moment, to really get to sit with myself and certain aspects that I had never given myself the opportunity to do," he shared.

"It was probably the first time in my life where I really felt okay and comfortable alone. It used to just be incredibly difficult for me to even just sort of relax with myself. And this was a time where this was possible, allowed me to connect to my body in a way that I could really fully listen to myself, and I this for so long, I didn't even have a concept of what I was feeling, you know?"

Elliot shared two profound childhood memories with Oprah: wearing a boys' swimsuit and having his hair cut short when he was nine years old. He said they were deeply affirming for him then. Sadly, he said the time his career started to take off, right after the release of surprise hit film Juno, he was having a hard time emotionally. He said he couldn't look at photos of himself on the Oscars red carpet and that there were periods in his career where he felt he was "barely existing." This comes down to the lack of information about trans people that many transgender and non-binary people have to push through in their lives, he said.

"For so long, I didn't have much language or information," he explained. "Obviously, when I was a kid, teenager – at least in my experience - that wasn't a part of my life. And I think there were periods or I know there were periods in my life where it would come up.

"I remember when I was reading [transgender journalist Janet Mock’s book] Redefining Realness, actually. Like I remember having a moment that was just like, 'I'm trans,' and it was as if I took the thought and shoved it away. And there's been other periods like that in my life, and I think I just wasn't ready."

When he revealed his truth to the world, Elliot said he was doing so partly to help transgender youth. In his coming out statement, he said he recognized the amount of privilege he had, but also was scared of experiencing harassment, discrimination and targeting because he is trans. But he told Oprah he knew being true to himself would send an important message for young people and others who might be struggling with the same thing.

"It feels more important than being scared in moments," he told of his decision to come out. "It feels more important than if I have an overwhelming day. It, to me, really simply feels like absolutely the right thing to do."

In the near future, Elliot told Oprah he's excited to continue being creative. He’s shooting the new season of Netflix's hit series The Umbrella Academy in Toronto, and said he feels much different on set. He also said "the little things" have been some of the most joyful parts of his transition so far.

"This is all very new, you know?" he said. "I feel like I'm just getting to settle into my body, into even just cutting my hair, and being able to look at myself in the mirror and feel good about what I see."

You can watch Elliot's full interview with Oprah on Apple+ now.

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