Ellen Page Was 'Forced' to Wear Dresses Before Coming Out: ‘People Cannot Know You’re Gay’
Ellen Page was under a lot of pressure to hide her sexuality when she first started out in Hollywood
When she was first earning a name for herself in Hollywood, Ellen Page never thought she’d see the day when she’d be able to come out as gay.
“I was distinctly told, by people in the industry, when I started to become known: ‘People cannot know you’re gay,’ ” the 32-year-old actress, who came out in 2014, recalled during an interview with PorterEdit.
Page went on to reveal that she was also “pressured — forced in many cases — to always wear dresses and heels for events and photo shoots,” although she went on to dismiss the stereotype that gay women follow a strict dress code, adding, “as if lesbians don’t wear dresses and heels.”
But the days of being told what to wear — and what to hide about herself — are over.
“I will never let anyone put me in anything I feel uncomfortable in ever again,” the actress, who’s starring in the new Netflix series The Umbrella Academy, remarked.
Page went on to open up about how much more accepting Hollywood is of gay stars these days than it was when she was younger.
“I remember being in my early 20s and really believing it was impossible for me to come out,” the actress, who’s now an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights, told PorterEdit. “But, over time, with more representation, hearts and minds have changed. It doesn’t happen quickly enough and it hasn’t happened enough, particularly for the most marginalized in the community. But things have got better.”
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Speaking to just how much things have changed, Page addressed how “detrimental” it was as a young woman to constantly be faced with questions about her sexuality.
“I was 20, I had just fallen in love for the first time with a woman, and I was still navigating my own stuff, while people were writing articles headlined: ‘Ellen Page’s sexuality sweepstake.’ There was a tabloid magazine that I saw at every checkout, in every gas station, with a picture of me on the cover, and the question: ‘Is Ellen Page gay?’ ” she shared.
“It was very detrimental to my mental health,” she continued, adding that she made the decision to publicly come out at the age of 26 because “I felt, and I feel, a sense of responsibility.”
Page revealed she had tied the knot with 24-year-old dancer Emma Portner last year. She told PorterEdit how she’s “so in love” and absolutely adores “being married.”
“I’ll be walking my dog, and I start talking to people, and I end up telling them about my wife and making them look at our Instagram. I’m that person,” she admitted.
Offering a brief look into their wedded bliss last year, Page shared a sweet photo of the pair cuddling in bed with their dog on Instagram.
In the picture, Page plants a smooch on Portner’s cheek as Portner places her hand on Page’s head.
The actress captioned the photo simply with a red heart, an LGBTQ pride flag and another red heart.