As multiple anti-transgender bills are passed in the United States, Canadian actor Elliot Page says he’s taking the opportunity to speak from the heart in a sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The conversation will air Friday on Apple TV+.
Page, the Oscar-nominated actor from Halifax, told Vanity Fair in an interview released Wednesday that he hopes the discussion with Winfrey will combat the “misinformation and lies” in anti-trans legislation.
Five U.S. states have passed laws or implemented executive orders so far this year limiting the ability of transgender youths to play sports or receive certain medical treatment.
“These bills are going to be responsible for the death of children. It is that simple,” Page, 34, told the magazine.
“So [talking to Oprah] felt like an opportunity to use a wide-reaching platform to speak from my heart about some of my experience and the resources I’ve been able to access — whether therapy or surgery — that have allowed me to be alive, to live my life.”
The actor is best known for his Oscar-nominated role in Juno, as well as the sci-fi action hit Inception, and most recently The Umbrella Academy on Netflix. Last year, Page shared in a lengthy post on social media that he is trans and his pronouns are he and they.
In a preview clip released by Vanity Fair, Page opens up to Winfrey about the moment he decided to come out publicly.
Page told Winfrey that posting the news widely felt imperative to not only counteract the anti-LGBTQ and anti-trans backlash he’d been seeing in the U.S., but for his own well-being.
He came out as gay before his 27th birthday — until then, Page said he had “never even touched” someone he was in love with in public.
“Any kind of sensation of feeling that again, there was just no way I could do it,” Page told Winfrey.
“With this platform I have, the privilege that I have, and knowing the pain and the difficulties and the struggles I 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.”
In a Time cover story last month, Page said when he came out on social media as transgender, he knew there would be negative and positive reactions.
He said he was anticipating support and love, but also a massive amount of hatred and transphobia, adding: “That’s essentially what happened.”