Entertainment & Arts

Ellen Page on ‘Ellen’: Talks ‘shame, guilt for not being out’

<i>This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.</i>

Ellen Page says she’s much more comfortable and happier now that she’s come out as a lesbian.

The “X-Men: Days of Future Past” star sat down for an interview on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that was posted on the talker’s YouTube channel Wednesday, and the host expressed how proud and happy she was for the actress.

The “Juno” and “Inception” star came out in February during an emotional speech at the LGBT youth conference Time to Thrive.

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“I’m here today because I am gay, and because maybe I can make a difference,” Page said at the time, adding that she felt “a personal obligation and a social responsibility” to come out but was also doing it “selfishly” because she was “tired of hiding” and “tired of lying by omission.”

DeGeneres, who is openly gay, asked the 27-year-old how nervous she was during the “incredible” speech.

“The most nervous I’ve ever been in my life,” Page replied. “I think my biggest fear of doing it was even just having a panic attack, quite frankly.

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“But I was just so ready to do it and quite frankly so excited to do it. So it was a combination of such thrill to finally be at that place in my life where I was able to do that and grateful to have that moment. And grateful to you because you did it in a time when it was much harder and much scarier.”

Indeed, DeGeneres came out in 1997 with a Time magazine cover that read, “Yep, I’m Gay.” But the host focused on her guest’s journey rather than her own.

“I knew I would be a happier person,” Page said. “I knew that I was going to feel better and I did not anticipate just how happy I would feel in every aspect of my life -- just an ease and a comfort. It’s really been quite extraordinary to feel the shift that was pretty much overnight.”

DeGeneres equated the coming-out process to “releasing shame.”

“It’s toxic,” Page continued. “We talked about this a bit. You think you’re at a place where you’re, like, ‘Oh, I’m happy to be gay’ ... and honestly, it wasn’t until making that choice and doing that where I realized I was carrying a tremendous amount of shame and guilt for not being out. I felt isolated from the LGBT community and now I don’t.

“It’s so nice to just be at work and talk about an ex or get to wear what you want and not have a conversation about it. And to feel like you’re being yourself and then connect with people in the world.”

Page added that since she’s come out she’s shared “beautiful” moments with people telling them their stories or asking for advice when they’re closeted.

People and Us Weekly reported that the interview will air May 27.


[For The Record, 11:25 p.m. PDT May 1: A previous version of this post stated that Ellen DeGeneres announced that she was gay in 2007. She made the announcement in 1997.]


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