Elliot Page reflects on a difficult chapter in the story of his life.
THE Umbrella Academy star, who came out as transgender in 2020, opened up about her past struggles with gender dysphoria on E! News’ exclusive look at Freedom to Exist with Elliot Page: Introducing the Soul of a Nationan ABC News Pride Month special focused on the trans community and airing June 6.
Recalling how his body began to change during puberty, the 36-year-old said it was the time when he also began to “feel a very erosive and damaging degree of discomfort”.
“I don’t think even then I probably heard the word ‘transgender,'” Page shared. “If that happened, it would be briefly in health class with the sound of laughter afterwards.”
To make matters worse, the actor said he was heavily bullied at school during this time, adding to internal “shame” and feelings of “self-loathing”.
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“I think with gender dysphoria, it’s assigned a sex at birth based on your genitalia,” he continued, “and that being the reality of not being who you are — and l incongruity and disconnection with it – continues to eat away at you.”
Page said his internal turmoil over gender identity “got especially complicated” when he rose to fame in Hollywood. While struggling to feel comfortable in dresses, Juno alum recalled that “people would just say, ‘You’re an actor. Just put on f-king clothes. “”
“But needless to say,” he added, “it was so much more than that.”
In the past, Page has been open about her journey, including her battles with depression, anxiety and panic attacks before transitioning. Although he acknowledges that surgery is not necessary for some members of the transgender community, he has previously shared that having high profile surgery has dramatically improved his self-esteem.
“Coming out of the shower, the towel is around your waist, you look in the mirror and you’re like, ‘I’m here,'” he said. Oprah Winfrey in a 2021 interview. “It’s being able to touch my chest and feel comfortable in my body for the first time.”
Earlier this month, Page recalled how his struggles with gender dysphoria “were especially prevalent in the summer” as he attempted to hide his body in diapers and oversized t-shirts.
“It feels so good to sunbathe now,” he captioned a shirtless selfie. “I never thought I could experience this, the joy I feel in my body.”
Freedom to Exist with Elliot Page: Introducing the Soul of a Nation aired June 6 on ABC and the next day on Hulu. Page Memories Edge also falls on June 6.