The Oscar-nominated Umbrella Academy star came out as trans this week—a huge moment for the actor and everyone watching his rise.

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All I want to do this week is write about Elliot Page. Its also the last thing I want to do. Not because I dont want to honor the Umbrella Academy star, who came out earlier this week as trans, but because it means talking about the fact that peoplecelebrities or otherwisestill have to come out at all. That every time someone does theres a collective breath-holding, waiting anxiously to see the reaction, to see if anything has changed.
Page, it seems, was prepared for this. In his coming-out post on social media, the Oscar-nominated actor expressed gratitude for both having arrived at this place in my life and the support hes received, as well as the work the trans community has done to fight for equality. But, he added, Im also scared. Im scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the jokes, and of violence. In sharing his true self, Page is also opening himself up to a world of scrutiny at a fraught time for everyone, and specifically for trans people. He noted in his post the amount of violence trans people, particularly those who are Black and Latinx, face, and addressed transphobes directly, adding, You arent being canceled, you are hurting people. I am one of those people and we wont be silent in the face of your attacks.
Perhaps that is why its hard to write about. Any amount of ink spilledno matter how celebratorycan lead to backlash. Silence rarely helps anything, but its hard not to be concerned. The internet is not known for its across-the-board kindness, after all, and a celebritys coming out can often be proof of that.
After Page posted his message on Tuesday, the reaction was swift and mostly positive. At least at the start. On Instagram, everyone from Broad City stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson to Pages Juno director Jason Reitman chimed in with support. So did the account for The Umbrella Academy, which wrote so proud of our superhero!! WE LOVE YOU ELLIOT!!! On Twitter, Pages X-Men costar Patrick Stewart wrote, I am proud to be your friend and fellow superhero Mark Ruffalo offered congratulations too. Transgender activist Raquel Willis also expressed support, as did writer-actor Jen Richards. There was also, amongst the more than 45,000 responses, a garden variety of transphobic comments and arguments about identity and pronouns. But even those were largely rebuffed by other commenters coming to Pages defense. They did the same when conservative commentator Steven Crowder attempted to make jokes at the actors expense.
Netflix revealed Tuesday that Page would continue playing Vanya Hargreeves on The Umbrella Academy, which is about to begin filming its third season. Vanya is a cisgender woman, but, sources told Variety there arent currently plans to change the characters gender. The streaming service also said it is in the process of changing Pages name in the metadata for all of his movies and shows.
What happens beyond that for Page is unclear. Then again, this is 2020, and what happens for anyone is unclear. With time, though, the actors brave move could provide inspiration for thousands, if not millions, and gives Hollywood another immensely talented trans actor to hire. (Seriously, Elliot Page is an international treasure. Give him a thousand amazing roles to play.) Perhaps it even means that one day people, let alone actors, wont even have to come out at all. Nothing will be presumed and everyone will be able to tell you who they are as they see fit.