The news: In real life, actress Ellen Page came out publicly as gay last week. But in the fictional world of late-night sketch comedy, this revelation was old news.
When the Juno-star hosted Saturday Night Live in March 2008, she performed a sketch as a young woman returning to her boyfriend after a Melissa Etheridge concert. Her behavior is … suspicious, to say the least:
Andy Samberg, who plays Page’s boyfriend, is quizzical about her enthusiastic account of feeling “so free” amidst all the “athletic girls in tank tops” rocking out to “lezzie jam[s].” “Did you go gay at that concert?” he asks. “Gay?” she responds. “No way! I don’t really know what you mean by ‘gay,’ though … I just felt like I was an oil lamp that’s never been lit.”
The past few years have been difficult for Page. "I suffered for years because I was scared to be out,” she said during her coming out speech at the Human Rights Campaign Time to Thrive conference in Las Vegas. “My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered. And I'm standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain."
The 26-year-old actress said she was “tired of hiding” and “lying by omission” — "I'm here today because I am gay," she told the audience, "and because maybe I can make a difference, to help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.”
Well said. It’s heartening to see a young person break free of the social and personal constraints that prevent them from living honestly. It’s also great to witness the support they receive: “Fuck the Olympics, kids,” tweeted Orange is the New Black star Jason Biggs. “If it’s heroes you’re after, look no further than @EllenPage and @MikeSamFootball.”
But prior to all this, Andy Samberg’s character in the original SNL sketch had an equally memorable response: “I just want you to know, if it turns out you’re a real lez, that I’ll go gay too and we can still live together.”
If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.