Elliot Page Says He 'Never Recognized' Himself on the Red Carpet Before Coming Out

Elliot Page opened up about struggling with fame and public appearances before coming out as transgender last December.

via Page Six:

“I just never recognized myself,” 34-year-old Page said, underscoring the powerful role clothing plays in gender identity. “For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself.”

Donning feminine clothing for onscreen roles proved equally difficult. “Even though [I was] an actor, just putting on a T-shirt cut for a woman would make me so unwell,” he added.

The “Hard Candy” actor’s friend Alia Shawkat, who co-starred with him in 2009’s “Whip It,” also spoke to Time about Page’s struggles with performing femininity through fashion. “I’d be like, ‘Hey, look at all these nice outfits you’re getting,’ and he would say, ‘It’s not me. It feels like a costume,’” she recalled.

After Page came out as gay in 2014, he pivoted from dresses to suits on the red carpet and began accepting roles with the condition of requiring masculine clothing, marking a turning point in his journey.

Hair has also played a crucial role in allowing Page to live his truth. He pointed to cutting his hair short “around age 9” as the first time he truly felt like himself — and that others perceived him clearly.

“I felt like a boy,” the star, who recently underwent top surgery, recalled. “I wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday.”

Now, more than two decades later — and after years of “[having] to look a certain way” onscreen with the help of wigs and reluctant grow-outs — Page is finally back to his short hair.

“I just could not have enjoyed it more,” he said of returning to the barber’s chair.

You can read more about Elliot’s journey here.

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