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11 Reasons It's Important Ellen Page is an Out Lesbian Actor in Hollywood

11 Reasons It's Important Ellen Page is an Out Lesbian Actor in Hollywood

11 Reasons It's Important Ellen Page is an Out Lesbian Actor in Hollywood
YezYes

Coming out is different for every LGBT person, but when you are in the public eye, it can be even more challenging because you are facing pressure from your agent, your publicist, and you may feel a responsibility to your fans that could make you hesitant to come out.

Ellen DeGeneres famously shattered the glass door when she came out in 1997 on her show, Ellen. Matt Damon recently told the Guardian that actors shouldn't talk about their sexuality, and later clarified that he felt his comments were taken out of context, but for LGBT actors, this is a real fear. But this isn't about Matt Damon. It's about the need for more LGBT stories in Hollywood. And luckily, Ellen Page is one actor who is committed to bringing more LGBT stories to the big screen. Since coming out, Page experienced positive changes and has been open about many aspects of her personal life.

Despite her confidence and success, Page still harbors anxiety about coming out and trying to find roles in Hollywood. She told New York Daily News:

ellen page

The numbers behind the lack of LGBT diversity reveal a harsh truth. In 2015, only 17.5 percent of Hollywood studio films featured LGBT characters (from GLAAD’s 2015 survey). This deficit illustrates the importance of actors like Ellen Page to be out and proud, and to talk openly about their sexuality in mainstream media. In 2006, when the true story of Freeheld takes place, marriage equality didn't exist in the U.S., and there were few LGBT role models for young queer people.

Here are 11 reasons it's important for Ellen to be out and proud and unashamed to talk about LGBT issues: 

1. GLAAD reported "of the 102 films released in theaters in 2013 only 17 included characters that identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender."

There's still not enough diverse portrayals of LGBT people in film. GLAAD added "that most of these portrayals were reduced to cameos or subjects of defamatory remarks."

Screen Daily wrote about the remarks Page made at a press conference at the Zurich Film Festival in which she expressed the need for more gay characters; especially in films for women by women: 

ellen page

2. Page is unashamed about creating more roles for LGBT characters in Hollywood. She doesn't consider this to be a "brave" move. It's necessary.


 

#fbf 18 in Toronto. I still have that jacket. Extensions in for kitty pryde.

A photo posted by @ellenpage on

Page spoke about this exact topic to Time Magazine:  

 

ellen page

ellen page

2. She's not afraid to admit that she wants to make more "gay" films, but she doesn't want to be typecast:

 

#tbt at sundance for hard candy...over ten years ago...wtffffffff

A photo posted by @ellenpage on

"I have two [upcoming projects] that are… 'gay.' That’s even a pain to have to call it that, but it’s about two people of the same sex. I’m interested in these stories. Needless to say, I’m thrilled to play a character who’s heterosexual, if it speaks to me. But I’m gay, so when I get to sit in a theater and watch Blue Is the Warmest Color, what an utter joy that is! Because you’re getting to watch something that’s at least close tosomething you’ve experienced as a gay woman. It’s probably more selfish."

3. Making Freeheld is not just important because of the storyline, but because Page struggled with her sexuality. 

 

16. Shaved head. Toronto.

A photo posted by @ellenpage on

She told Out Magazine:

"Not only is she doing something new as an out woman playing an out woman in a mainstream Hollywood film, she’s giving us something that feels entirely fresh — like finding a room in your house that you didn’t know was there, or discovering another verse to your favorite song.”

4. Julianne Moore, Ellen Page's co-star in Freeheld, hopes that this is a "big, mainstream hit" because it could have the potential to sway anti-gay culture.

“You know what would be really nice for this movie?” she says. “I would really like it to be a big, mainstream hit, because I feel like it’s an important time in our culture. In the entertainment business, some people say we can effect change. I don’t know that we can effect change, but I do know that we reflect it. When there’s a Supreme Court judgment, generally, it’s because popular opinion has already changed. A majority of people in this country were in favor of marriage equality, and the Supreme Court made that ruling. And look! Suddenly, here is this movie that sort of reflects that back. So we’re ready as a culture to say, ‘Here. Look. Look how far we’ve come, and look what we’ve done.’"

Page echoed the same sentiment when she spoke to the New York Daily News and called movies "empathy machines."

ellen page
 

5. Ellen still wasn't out when she joined the project. She was only 21. Now, she's 28.

“It was interesting for me, because Ellen had just so recently come out [when we started filming],” she says. “And this is going to sound silly, and hopefully not hurtful on my part, but I don’t think I was aware of how painful it is to be closeted. I have the advantage of being a person who’s never had to hide my sexuality, so I asked her a lot of questions — frank questions — about what that feels like. She said she felt discomfort simply wearing all these dresses, and it was all very eye-opening for me. She was so unprotective [of herself] — I was very touched by that. It definitely made me more sensitive to the nuances of our movie.”

6. Page confronted Ted Cruz in Iowa about LGBT issues.

Ted Cruz has a long history of being anti-LGBT and it's amazing to see an actor/celebrity use their platform and audience to confront politicans about real issues that affect the LGBT community. 

7. She has a gay travel show on VICE called "gaycation."

There's a lot to look forward to from Page. She has a gay travel show on VICE that will be coming out soon, where she travels to Jamaica, speaks to Ted Cruz (clip above), and potentially Marsha P Johnson from the Stonewall Riots (we're just guessing this because she has a photo on her Instagram with Johnson.) 

8. She walked the red carpet for Freeheld, while holding hands with her girlfriend.

ellen page

Source: Associated Press

This isn't a radical thing. Straight people walk down the street holding their partners hands all the time, and plenty of straight actors walk red carpets holding their partners hands, but for Page, who came out last year, it held special meaning for her. 

It was Page's first time walking down a red carpet with a girlfriend. She told E! News:

ellen page

9. She could never have made this film as a closeted person, she told Glamour

ellen page

10. She's spoken out against the use of religious liberty used as a way to discriminate against LGBT people. 

ellen page

11. There's not a lot of out women in Hollywood. Hopefully by being open, Page can encourage others who may need that extra push to be open about their sexuality as well. If they want to. Not everyone can afford to, because as Page has said in the past, she is a "privileged gay person."

She told Screen Daily:

ellen page

Go watch Freeheld. It is in select theatres today.

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Yezmin Villarreal

<p>Yezmin always has a coffee in her hand. She&#39;s a writer from Phoenix, AZ, who is interested in the intersection of race, sex, and gender in pop culture.</p>

<p>Yezmin always has a coffee in her hand. She&#39;s a writer from Phoenix, AZ, who is interested in the intersection of race, sex, and gender in pop culture.</p>