Earlier this week, actress Ellen Page visited Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen Showto discuss Page’s newest film, Freeheld.While discussing the film, the pair reflected on the positive impact coming out has had on both their lives.
“It must have been amazing to do this (make this film) because you had just come out before you did this,” DeGeneres remarked. Page came out at HRC’s Time to THRIVE conference in 2014.
“It was very, very special to have come out, to be playing a gay person, someone who I admire so much, who did something so crucial and important in a time of unimaginable difficulty,” Page replied. “I just feel so grateful to be part of telling their story.”
Freeheld is the true story of a same-sex couple fighting for pension benefits in New Jersey. Fellow HRC supporter Julianne Moore plays Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester and Page plays her domestic partner, Stacie Andree.
“And for me, honestly, being a closeted person hurt my career way more because I was sad. I was uninspired,” Page continued. “And now I feel more excited about life and a sense of happiness that I’ve probably never felt.”
“That’s great. That’s great to hear,” DeGeneres, who came out in 1997, replied. “Because it gives you an opportunity, first of all, hiding anything is horrible for anyone no matter what it is. It’s just a secret is heavy. It’s a heaviness that no one—it just makes you sick. “
Earlier this month, HRC honored Page with the National Vanguard Award for her courage and leadership.
"Since I came out Valentine's Day last year, I can finally say I am truly, finally happy,” she said in her speech.
Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion -- from fear to euphoria. Coming out -- whether it is as LGBT or allied -- is a deeply personal journey for each individual. Learn more about coming out at HRC’s Coming Out Center.