“Every time someone steps up and says who they are, the world becomes a better, more interesting place. So thank you.” – Captain Holt to Rosa Diaz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Being yourself is hard at the best of times. Being yourself in a hostile world takes a courage many of us will never know.
When I came out as a bisexual woman two years ago, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Many friends and acquaintances took the time to send me their love and support. But I knew exactly what I was doing and that I was lucky and privileged: I knew exactly in what environment I could come out to – namely my progressive friends – and in which environment to let it be as it was.
I guess until now. So, hi everyone who didn’t know! Yep, this is me! I fall for men and women! Yes, it’s a thing and no I’m not just a closeted lesbian! Bisexuality is real!
Coming out is scary. You just don’t know what people’s reactions will be even within your own environment, whether you tell them you are gay, bi, transgender, asexual or aromantic. So coming out as transgender and non binary in front of the entire world because you are a public figure must be utterly terrifying. Yet that is exactly what Elliot Page did. His courage doing so cannot be understated.
In a beautiful letter on Instagram he talks about the continuing murders of transgender people. It’s a horrifying fact about people who just want to be themselves in this world. Who just want to live their life as authentically and true to themselves as they possibly can.
So the courage of Elliot Page to be who they are in not just their own safe bubble, like me, but in front of the entire world takes a courage I’ve never had to find within myself. He knows what vitriol awaits yet he chooses to show himself. He chooses to let the world know who he is, who they are, and with that take a giant leap that will hopefully make it that little easier for other people who struggle with their identity or assigned gender to feel like they can too. If Elliot can come out in the open with his truth to the entire world, perhaps more will be able to be as courageous and do so in their own environment.
But if that is a step too far, having an incredible actor with a large platform come out at all and acknowledge that they decide who they are, not anybody else, can lead to real change within people who are struggling with the same struggles right now. It is what makes him a real life superhero to me.
While negativity will always rear its ugly head, seeing the outpouring of love and the way the media that I follow (emphasis on that) reported on it makes me so happy and relieved. It’s clear that we’ve come such a long way already. It’s inspiring and emotional to behold.
But obviously we still have a long, long way to go. I truly hope Elliot’s courage will make others feel safe to find their own truth too. And perhaps even tell the world. Or at least: their world.
Being yourself is hard. Being yourself in a harsh world like ours is even harder. I will look at Elliot – and my own trans/non-binary/queer friends – whenever I need to pluck up the courage to be myself in an environment in which I don’t feel 100% safe and let them be that guiding light for me, in whatever way I need.
Let this blog be another step forward for me in the process to being my whole authentic self in this world.
Thank you, Elliot!
P.S. If this is a topic you struggle with and you would like to talk to someone about this or need someone to listen, my inbox is always open! We don’t need to know each other to be understanding of each other’s struggles. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. x