Elliot Page talks tuning out negativity and focusing on joy
"I feel a way that I really never thought possible," he told Seth Meyers.
Elliot Page joined Late Night with Seth Meyers and spoke about his journey coming out as trans and advocated for empathy over what continues to be a dismayingly politicized issue.
Joining Meyers to promote the new season of the hit Netflix show The Umbrella Academy, Page talked about incorporating his trans identity into the series. Page, who came out as trans publicly in December 2020, worked with showrunner Steve Blackman (who also brought on Thomas Page McBee, a trans author) in detailing Page’s character, Viktor, and his arc of coming out on the show. The acceptance that Viktor is met with in the story mirrored, Page said, his own experience within his inner circle.
“I feel really grateful for that,” Page said. “Most people weren’t surprised, it’s something I’d been talking about with a lot of people in my life.”
He continued: “What I want to focus on right now and has been so extraordinary is the degree of joy that I feel, the degree of presence that I feel. I feel a way that I really never thought possible for a long, long time. So that’s what I’m really focusing on and embracing the most. But of course, moments can be overwhelming.”
Speaking on the hate that comes his way as a trans person, Page extended a generous plea for understanding: “I feel like it’s one of those things where it’s so unfortunate cause it’s like, we’re all on the same team here, you know? Whether you’re trans, gender non-confirming, cis, we all have these expectations and these sorts of limits and constraints because of people’s obsession with the binary and how we’re all supposed to live our lives. So to me, it’d be so special for us to all be able to connect and talk about how similar we are in all of our journeys.”
Meyers asked about Page’s position as an activist, a role that he was in some ways forced to take on as a high-profile trans person, and whether or not it’s easy to always lead with empathy.
“Not always,” Page said with a laugh. “But yeah, I think in some ways. I reflect on certain very difficult times in my life, certain struggles and obstacles and all that, and I think ultimately getting through that, I think it really deepens your empathy. And I think of the times in my life where i was the most uncomfortable, or I was the most unwell, those are the times when I was the most angry and I was the most unkind to myself or self-righteous or all of those things. So it’s improved my life drastically, and I hope maybe people who do have an issue with me could maybe try and hear that or embrace that on some level.”