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Ellen Page's Inspiring Words on How Freeheld Helped Her Come Out

Ellen Page on How Freeheld Helped Her Come Out

Ellen Page on How Freeheld Helped Her Come Out

Freeheld truly had a monumental impact on its lead actress.


You’ll definitely want to pick up this month’s edition of Glamour. A powerful interview with Freeheld stars Julianne Moore and Ellen Page sheds light on the impact the film had on them in ways that ended up ultimately changing their lives, and potentially countless other lives as well. In the film - which is based on a true story and subsequent short documentary - Julianne and Ellen play Laurel Hester and Stacie Andree, domestic partners fighting for Stacie to receive Laurel’s pension after a lung cancer diagnosis. Julianne, of course, is no stranger to playing queer roles in film and advocating for gay rights in her every day life. She’s starred as queer characters in The Hours and The Kids Are All Right, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and Chloe, and she started to fighting for equal rights in the ‘80s as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, has even praises her work, going as far as to claim, “She’s accelerated the acceptance of LGBT people worldwide.”

Ellen, however, had been keeping her identity a complete secret to the public. As she shared with Glamour, "I was super closeted at the time,” though after receiving the script for Freeheld 7 years ago with the offer to play Stacie Andree, she decided she had to make a change. “I was moved, so unbelievably moved. I wanted to be involved.” However, to Ellen this also meant taking a massive step in the way of her identity. "Keeping that part of myself hidden was affecting my work, my ambition, my relationships. It was a constant burden—it was so toxic. As a gay woman, playing a gay character is a pretty monumental moment.” And so Ellen eventually made the choice to come out publicly at an HRC event in February of 2014.

Freeheld clearly had an intense impact on these women, just as Laurel and Stacie had on the nation - a fact that was beautifully emphasized when marriage equality was legalized in June of this year. As Julianne says, “These women were forerunners of this year’s case. They were very regular people. Laurel was a detective, and Stacie a mechanic. And for the first time in their lives, they were public about their sexuality in a way that they hadn’t wanted to be. So what they did was major. They really put themselves on the line.”

Freeheld has long since wrapped and will be in theaters next month, but Julianne and Ellen are still continuing their fights for equality in the LGBT community. Julianne participated this year in the #IDO campaign, which calls for an end to LGBT bullying and discrimination, while Ellen is shooting a show for Vice that explores the most homophobic countries, sadly including America. Says Ellen about her experience with this show in regards to her own sexuality, "Don’t tell me that the love I feel is any different than the love a heterosexual person feels. Don’t tell me it’s not equal.” As for her words to live by: "Be authentic. Do not waste your time being anything but that.”

It’s incredibly powerful to see Freeheld affecting its stars in such an emotional way, and we look forward to seeing and being affected by this film ourselves. You can check out the Freeheld trailer below, and pick up this edition of Glamour on stands now or digitally at


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Preston Max Allen