When Ellen Page came out as a gay woman in her inspiring speech at Time to THRIVE, a pro-LGBT conference held in Las Vegas, the world collectively lost their minds. In a good way. Page was flooded with support from celebrities and fans alike, but even better than that was the weight that seemed to be off her shoulders — the kind of weight that you didn't even notice was there until you realized that it was gone. When Page appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to talk about coming out, even DeGeneres had to congratulate her on how much more relaxed she is now and we couldn't be more proud of her.
Page's coming out story represents not only a personal experience for her but also a symbolic experience of our changing times. Although she has yet to take another role since coming out, aside from rumors that Page would be playing John Belushi's widow in an upcoming biopic, her sexuality has yet to actually define her as a person or as an actress. It was an explosion of news and then it wasn't news at all, which is a huge change from when the discovery that an actor or actress was gay could literally destroy their career.
"I was just so ready to do it and quite frankly so excited to do it, so it was a combination of just such thrill to finally be at that 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 where it was much harder and much scarier..." said Page, referring to when DeGeneres came out in 1997 to great media outcry and negative career consequences. "...I did not anticipate just how happy I would feel in just every aspect of my life, just an ease and a comfort, and it's really been quite extraordinary to feel... the shift."
Page went on to discuss how happy she was to be able to hear other people's stories and give them advice on coming out when she could, looking more comfortable in her own skin than she has over the course of her entire career. While Page has always been the laid-back kind of actress, there was always a measure of awkwardness to her that seems to have largely dissipated the more open she is about herself and her experiences. Of course, the world we live in isn't perfect and Page's story is still one of the rare ones with a happy ending, but it is, as she said in an interview with Flare magazine, "indicative of the change that’s happening".
Considering how hard DeGeneres had to work and how hard she had to go through in order to save her reputation and career while remaining proud of who she was, she seemed to find Page's experience just as inspiring as Page found hers. In contrast to the more humorous tone of DeGeneres' usual interviews, her conversation with Page was touching and emotional and just what the world needed to hear.
Watch the interview that's happening.