Elliot Page says films like But I'm a Cheerleader helped him overcome struggles over LGBTQ+ identity
The actor came out as a transgender male in December
Actor Elliot Page, who came out as a transman in December, has said that LGBTQ+ films like But I'm a Cheerleader offered relief for him, as a young LGBTQ+ person, during moments of "isolation, loneliness, shame and self-hatred."
The actor said this while receiving the Outfest's Achievement Award on Sunday at the closing gala of the film festival in Los Angeles. Variety quoted the actor saying, “I for one know that without the various representation that I was able to stumble upon as a kid and a teenager — there was very little — I just don’t know if I would have made it. I don’t know if I would have made it through the moments of isolation and loneliness and shame and self-hatred that was so extreme and powerful and all-encompassing that you could hardly see out of it."
“And then, you know, at 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on But I’m a Cheerleader and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life. I almost think we don’t talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for,” added Page.
But I’m a Cheerleader, the 1999 comedy that he mentions follows a high schooler (played by Natasha Lyonne), who is sent to a gay conversion program when her parents suspect her of being gay.
Page further spoke about the lack of representation in cinema and added that organisations like Outfest are changing that, "and helping get stories out in the world that I know are reaching people in moments where they feel desperately alone and afraid and like they have no sense of community. And it offers somebody a lifeline. And I know that representation has done that for me."