If you have been anywhere on the internet the past three days, you must have seen somewhere the news title “Elliot Page, Oscar nominated actor of Umbrella Academy has come out as transgender” in one form or another. I have seen multiple of these titles, most of them respectful enough to use his correct pronouns and name when referring to him, which is amazing news for humanity in general.
Netflix, Wikipedia, IMDB, and many other places have promptly changed his name everywhere, and 1.2 million people have already “liked” his post on twitter.
You might be thinking “yes, and?” or even “well, that’s the bare minimum, no one deserves a prize for treating a person with dignity and respect”. Well, of course. But let’s just travel in the not-so-distant past for a second. Do you remember Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out? Or the Wachowskis’? Many people were supportive, it’s true. But more weren’t. And many people are unsupportive today as well, but more aren’t.
Especially in places where it matters.
It does matter that Netflix has embraced Elliot’s coming out. It does matter that other celebrities expressed their admiration and love for Elliot. It does matter that Elliot’s deadname cannot be seen anywhere in official pages just two days after he came out. It does matter that Elliot’s name is trending on social media.
When I was growing up, I had no idea that trans men existed. In my small, conservative community there wasn’t such a thing. Our collective narrative only consisted of trans women in the form of bad jokes and derogatory terms. Trans-masculine folks were not visible on TV or other media either.
And I’m glad, I’m so glad, and so happy it almost makes me cry that a kid as lost as 13 year old me, can look up to such lovable people as Elliot Page and the support they got for showing to the world their real self, and believe that there is hope for them, and for the future.
For me, this speaks volumes on what the transgender community has achieved over the years. And I am unapologetically optimistic about the future. Sure, there is so much more to be done until we reach true equality, and until news like Elliot’s coming out are not perceived as shocking, and sure there are still setbacks, and serious fights we need to attend to, but we will get there.
We are getting there.