Ellen Page opened up about her sexuality on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ in her first TV interview since coming out as gay. The former ‘Juno’ star talked about the toll that years of being in the closet had taken upon her and how she feels now as an out-of-the-closet lesbian in Hollywood.
The 26-year-old actress Ellen Page — who is among the star-studded cast of ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past’ — came out in a speech at the the Human Rights Campaign conference “Time to THRIVE,” on Valentine’s Day. She said quite plainly during the speech, “I’m here today because I am gay” and later on said she came out “selfishly” as she was “tired of hiding and that she was “tired of lying by omission” while admitting that she “suffered for years” because she “was scared to be out.”
Now her first television interview since coming out was fittingly with Ellen DeGeneres, who was a trailblazer in coming out as a lesbian in 1997 and faced many repercussions including a setback in her career. She told Page, “I am so proud of you for coming out, and I am so happy for you. I know what a scary thing that is.”
Reflecting upon that speech, Ellen Page said, “I think my biggest fear in doing it was having a panic attack, quite frankly. But I was just so ready to do it, and so excited to do it.”
She went on to express gratitude to the host, saying, “It was a combination of such thrill to be at a place in my life where I was able to do that, and grateful to have that moment, and grateful to you, because you did it at a time when it was much harder and much scarier.”
She also elaborated on some of the suffering she had alluded to in the speech, saying that in being closeted she had felt “a tremendous amount of shame and guilt.”
She went on to say, “It’s toxic. You think you’re at a place where you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m happy to be gay, I’m so comfortable being gay, I love being gay. “Honestly, it wasn’t until making that choice and doing that when I realized that, no, I was carrying a tremendous amount of shame and guilt for not being out, and felt isolated from the LGBT community.”
It made for powerful television, as two women whose public coming out was many years apart reflected upon the freedom and liberation that can only come when one is truly one’s self. And thankfully since 1997 times are allowing more and more to have that freedom.
The replay is below.