Elliot Page Says ‘But I’m A Cheerleader’ Helped Him Overcome the Early ‘Shame’ About LGBTQ+ Identity

Elliot Page is looking back at some of the formative movies he watched growing up.

On Sunday (August 22), the 34-year-old Umbrella Academy actor was honored with the Achievement Award at the Outfest LGBTQ+ film festival, per Variety.

During his virtual appearance at the event, he reflected on the impact LGBTQ+ representation in film had on him as a teenager, and singled out the 1999 cult-classic But I’m a Cheerleader as having a particular influence on him.

Click inside to read what he said…

“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,” Elliot said while accepting his award.

He continued, “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,” he said. “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.”

The film stars Natasha Lyonne as Megan Bloomfield, a high school student whose parents decide to send her to conversion therapy under the suspicion that she’s gay. At the program, she falls in love with another teenage girl played by Clea DuVall.

“It’s [Outfest] and organizations like yourself that are completely changing that,” the Oscar nominee added. “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.”

Elliot came out as transgender in December of last year in an emotional statement posted to social media.

This spring, he discussed his transition in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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