Ellen Page claims to be celebrating being transgender, but her eyes tell a very different story
April 30, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In 2015, 17 million people watched Diane Sawyer interview Bruce Jenner about his decision to come out as Caitlyn. It was a TV event, heralded by many as a crucial tipping point in the battle for transgender media visibility. Cultural lightyears have elapsed since then — most media outlets covered the interview as a discussion with Bruce Jenner and referred to the former Olympian as he.
Six years on, referring to Ellen Page as “she” in the wake of her interview with Oprah about her transition to “Elliot Page” would be considered a hate crime in many quarters. “Deadnaming” now gets you unpersoned on social media.
Jenner broke the way; Page is using her celebrity status to consolidate transgender gains and push back against those seeking to stem the tide. “Coming out” is not just self-expression in an era where constructing the self is everything — it is the use of weaponized personal testimony to gin up empathy for a political agenda.
When Page sat down with Winfrey, it was not just for one of the intimate interviews the TV host is famous for. It was, much like Winfrey’s interview with Harry and Meghan, a power move calculated for maximum effect.
Going public with the details of her physical transition, Page told Winfrey, was important to her. Page famously posted a letter to social media explaining her decision, and she did this not just for personal reasons, but for political ones. “I was expressing this to people in my life much before posting that letter, and telling people for the first time, and knowing I wanted a moment to become comfortable in myself and to be able to get to that point,” the 34-year-old actress said.
“For me, in this time we’re in right now and especially with this horrible backlash we’re seeing towards trans people, particularly trans youth, it really felt imperative to do so.”
By “backlash,” Page is referring to legislation put forward or passed in many states to ensure that biological males identifying as female cannot participate in girls’ sports events. In states where this is occurring, biological males are cleaning house and taking home awards once designated for females. Resistance to this cultural sea change is now being reliably referred to as a “backlash,” as if those declining to accept the near-instantaneous restructuring of society are the aggressors in this culture war.
“With this platform I have, the privilege that I have, and knowing the pain and the difficulties and the struggles I’ve faced in my life — let alone what so many other people are facing — it absolutely felt just crucial and important for me to share that,” Page told Winfrey.
She referred to protections for girls in sports as “attacks,” as well: “Looking at the attacks against trans kids right now and the rhetoric, I can’t imagine what it feels like on top of everything else, and I just want kids to know that they’re loved and I’m going to continue to do what I can to help this society shift how it treats transgender people.”
As I noted when Page ended up on the cover of TIME last month, despite her consistent assurances that having her breasts surgically removed and the rest of her physical transition have made her ecstatically happy, she appears desperately sad. She told Winfrey about her tears of joy, but one wonders, watching this lost celebrity with her vulnerable face, if those were just tears.
This entire story — which I suspect is nowhere near over — is painful to watch and painful to hear. Page claims to be celebrating, but her eyes tell a very different story. To those trumpeting her transition, of course, her happiness is irrelevant.
Her story is a loaded gun that can be aimed at those who dare to say that double mastectomies on physically healthy women is bad medicine. Page will serve their purpose before she crashes and burns.