Elliot Page’s coming out and what it means for queer politics

Written by: Amadine
Edited by: Sarah
Visual by: Erica

Elliot Page, a prominent figure in Hollywood, has recently come out as transgender and non-binary, which he revealed in a meaningful letter published on all social media platforms. The letter included details of the struggles he had to overcome to embrace his sexuality, his unfaltering support system, and the discrimination towards members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Elliot Page’s Message

Elliot’s message sheds light on issues that trans people face daily, but most importantly highlights the newfound visibility of trans representation in the media. For transgender individuals, Page’s coming out encourages them to embrace their sexuality despite society’s deep-rooted prejudice.

In the aspect of media representation – for trans masculine people, many could say that Elliots coming out is of the same nature as Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out as a trans woman, if not all the more significant. His nuanced words and strong understanding of queer politics helps in crafting an amazing message to trans people alike. “We won’t stand silent in the face of (your) attacks” – he encourages in his letter. “I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.” In more focus to groups within the community, elliots coming out has brought more representation to trans masculine people. In contemporary society today, trans women are more widely accepted in comparison to trans men due to the objectification and commodifying of women which has posed as a large problem. But with Elliots coming out, many people apart of this spectrum can relate to Page’s words and have him as their own role model. This event is also strongly related to how Harry Styles challenged the core of toxic masculinity by wearing a dress for Vogue – which also elicited an overwhelmingly positive response.

In his message, Elliot also addresses the 40 transgender people murdered in 2020 and promises not to stay silent in light of this new revelation. “The discrimination towards trans people is rife, isnidious and cruel.” He says, “The statistics are staggering (…) [to the political leaders everywhere denying trans rights] You have blood on your hands.”

Moreover, Elliots words also stressed the need for personal pronouns. “I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer, the more I fully embarce who I am, the more I dream.”, he shares. In light of the larger visibility of the LGBTQ+ community, it is encouraged to identify with specific pronouns such as they/their, she/her, he/his and the like. This can help in creating a more inclusive environment especially since pronouns have strong associations with gender identity. Lastly, misgendering someone can cause them to feel as if they do not fit and uncomfortable. Aiko, the co-president of the GSA club here at ISM, also adds that, “when misgendered through the misuse of pronouns, may result in a feeling of not being equal or seen, which may lead to depression and anxiety.” (More information about this in GSA’s Instagram post: Spotlight: Importance of pronouns). She also expands further more in focus to Page’s coming out here, “His coming out allowed for high-profile representation for people in the LGBTQ+ community to look up to, and for others, he was a queer person to respect and to associate with the LGBTQ+ community. With their coming out story, Page also reminded those reading his letter, of the oppression, hatred, and death within the transgender community (another means of spreading awareness through a large platform). As more celebrities and influencers come out, the more normalised being a part of the LGBTQ+ community will be, to the point where, hopefully, coming out will not even be necessary.”

Elliots coming out has garnered much support from fellow celebrities and prominent Hollywood figures and this functions as an important step in making visible trans masculine people in our world today, bashing this taboo and normalizing it. When celebrities like Elliot speak on their gender identity, it brings visibility and attention to what is deemed taboo. Elliot is speaking out for himself, for others and for the LGBTQ+ community as a whole.

Sources:
https://www.indiewire.com/2020/12/elliot-page-trans-masculine-visibility-1234602307/
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/elliot-page-coming-out-transgender-activism-new-jersey-20201204.html
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/elliot-page-coming-out-transgender-activism-new-jersey-20201204.html