Josh’s View | Why a recent Time article left some scratching their ignorant heads

Elliot Page’s TIME cover set Twitter abuzz, for better and for worse.


Joshua LeBerte, Contributing Writer

Elliot Page’s recent interview and cover shoot for Time Magazine has led to a frenzy of support and ignorant rhetoric spewed at the Nova Scotian actor within hours of its announcement.

Page is an actor best known for his former work as a child and teenage star in “Juno” and “Hard Candy,” as well as his more recent work in the Netflix original series “Umbrella Academy.”  For 34 years of his life, Page was known to the world and his community as a cisgender woman until an Instagram post in December 2020. 

In that post, he disclosed to the world who he really was and was met with a general crowd of supporters both old and new. The post currently sits at 3.4 million likes. 

His recent Time interview and shoot is an extension of his personal history dealing with his identity. Page announced his profile in Time on Tuesday in a tweet.

“With deep respect for those who came before me, gratitude for those who have supported me & great concern for the generation of trans youth we must all protect, please join me and decry anti-trans legislation, hate & discrimination in all its forms,” he said.

Page’s interview with Time reporter Katy Steinmetz included moments that were equally inspiring as they were tear-jerking. One instance was when Page first felt free with himself and his identity after his first short haircut at 9 years old.

“I felt like a boy,” Page said in the interview. “I wanted to be a boy. I asked my mom if I could be someday.”

Roughly an hour after Page’s initial tweet, Steinmetz said it was an honor to work with such a big and recent figure for encouragement in a tweet of her own.

“I was so honored to help Elliot Page tell his story,” she said. “He was kind and open, and I share his hope that the world learns to embrace all our beautiful complexities.”

People were generally supportive of Page with the likes of actress and director Olivia Wilde, Netflix and activist Mia Farrow. However, with every ounce of sunshine, there will almost always be an abundance of storm clouds. 

Before the naysayers and bigots are addressed, here’s a formal warning to everyone who might be personally affected by insults against one’s gender identity and appearance. All accounts will not be linked, as that would further fuel their negative bias.

It first began with deadnaming, as it tends to with transgender celebrities. Deadnaming is when you refer to a transgender person either by their birth name or a name they were referred to when they were still identifying as cisgender.

One account with more than 30,000 followers, mislabeled Page with female pronouns shortly before relaying a lame joke. The joke alluded to the Chinese Communist Party.

Commenters underneath the post were not too kind either. One commenter went the extra mile, however, by insulting Page’s appearance and retreading the stereotype that transgender people do not “pass” as their gender.

There were other accounts posting pictures just to insult Page’s attributes too. When repliers ask them to use Elliot’s correct name, the original tweeters often resisted. 

One post even made a suicide joke toward Page through the use of a Simpsons gif. I hope it does not take some rocket scientist to explain how morally corrupt this “joke” actually is.

The National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, posted by The Trevor Project in 2020, revealed that more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth have considered taking their own life.

Those whose pronouns were respected by all or most people in their lives are half as likely to attempt suicide than those whose pronouns are ignored. Overall, 41% of the transgender and nonbinary people surveyed attempted suicide versus the 33% of cisgender survey volunteers.

Despite the hate Page is receiving across Twitter, disparagers can never take away the fact that he is successful.

He was able to bolster the work and progress of multiple state American Civil Liberties Unions, including the one in our state and its fights against anti-trans legislation this year. He will also star in two upcoming projects in 2022, “Robodog” and “ARK: The Animated Series.” 

His prowess as an actor, an activist and a general heartthrob for boys and girls alike can never be changed, whether naysayers like it or not.

Joshua LeBerte is a sophomore studying news media. His column, “Josh’s View,” covers national pop culture items and runs regularly.