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Elliot Page Opens Up About the Distress of Being Excluded From Boys Soccer As a Kid

Elliot Page Talks Distress of Being Excluded From Boys Soccer As a Kid

Elliot Page Talks Distress of Being Excluded From Boys Soccer As a Kid

“As a kid, it was complicated in relation to my gender,” he said.

rachelkiley

Elliot Page is gracing the cover of Esquire’s latest issue and giving readers an in-depth look into his life, both past and present, in the process.

One of the moments that sticks out from Page’s extensive and open interview is related to a topic that’s become shockingly controversial in the United States in recent years — kids’ sports.

The actor told Esquire that he loved playing soccer as a child, and was “pretty serious” about it. But something changed when he reached the age where teams broke off based on gender.

“As a kid, it was complicated in relation to my gender,” he recalled. “I remember the year the genders were separated. I was so distraught, so inordinately distraught. I was crying to my mum, ‘Please, one more year, one more year!’ When I was playing with the boys — soccer, touch football, out back during recess and lunch — I was having a blast.”

Although Page didn’t specify what age he was when this happened, he did say that he was allowed to stay with the boys’ team for one more year before getting booted over to play with the girls — despite occasionally getting mistaken for a boy on the field.

“I still played soccer for years, but a lot of love for it was not there,” he said.

Page didn’t transition until later in life, but children and teens who do identify as trans before reaching adulthood have faced discrimination in sports from adults who claim to want to keep things fair towards their cisgender teammates. This has sparked seemingly endless debate in the United States, with many critics of the uptick in anti-trans sports laws claiming that this is ultimately just another attempt at discrimination and has nothing to do with fairness or facts at all.

Research is still being done into whether trans athletes, and specifically trans women, have an advantage over their cis peers, but many experts have suggested if there is any, it’s negligible.

And when it comes to kids and teens in school, as opposed to pro sports, there are more important factors to consider anyway. As Page highlights in his interview, soccer taught him discipline and teamwork as a child, whereas ripping that away for the sake of gender norms — something trans kids throughout the country now face — did nothing but cause distress.

Page’s full interview with Esquire can be found here.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.