How many out and influential celebrity lesbian role models do young LGBTQ people have? Anyone come to mind other than Ellen DeGeneres, Queen Latifah or Jodie Foster? By coming out at 26, Ellen Page set a new age of influence for young and closeted lesbians.
For someone to come out as gay is already an incredibly difficult and life-changing experience, but for Page, a young, Oscar-nominated celebrity, there is added pressure to stay in the closet because of the social implications of finding jobs as an out actress.
Page described being “scared to be out” but tired of “lying by omission” about her sexuality.
Regarding a magazine’s claim that Page “insist[s] on dressing like a massive man” to the gym by wearing sweats, she argued a need to end “pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we’re all supposed to act, dress, and speak” because they only hurt those inside and outside the LGBTQ community.
It is in openly outing herself that Page found inspiration. “I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of that pain. There are too many kids out there suffering from bullying, rejection, or simply being mistreated because of who they are. Too many dropouts. Too much abuse. Too many homeless. Too many suicides. You can change that, and you are changing it.”
Page recognized that while her statements were important in empowering the LGBTQ community, people already know that they should empower their sexual identity, but are inhibited by fear. To come out, on Valentine’s Day no less, spread an invaluable message to love and accept one another regardless of their sexuality.