Elliot Page’s memoir, Pageboy, will be released next Tuesday, June 6. When he revealed the cover back in December, Elliot shared on Instagram that books helped him in his lowest moments, when he was confused and scared, and although he’s often in the past thought about sharing his story, it’s only now, “in this body”, that he feels ready to put that truth to page.
And he hopes that in doing so, he “can help some feel less alone, feel seen, no matter who they are or what path they are on”.
Elliot is using his platform at a critical time. Politicians in the United States are pushing forward with anti-trans bills and banning gender-affirming care. They’re trying to take away the basic human rights of trans people, already among the most vulnerable members of society. Per Vox, “trans Americans are four times more likely to be victims of violent crime than their cisgender peers, according to a 2021 study. Trans youth, who have been the primary focus of anti-trans legislation this year, are experiencing a mental health crisis: A 2022 survey by the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention group focused on LGBTQ youth, found that 86 percent of trans or nonbinary youth reported negative effects on their mental health stemming from the political debate around trans issues, and nearly half had seriously considered suicide in the past year.”
The anti-trans movement relies on disinformation and fear-mongering. As Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Trans Justice Initiative, told Vox:
“There is an intentional effort to use misinformation and disinformation to deceive folks who don’t know any trans, nonbinary, or queer people personally to perpetuate harm and dissuade folks from living honest and true and accurate lives.”
This is why Elliot has written his book. This is why Elliot is telling his story. Not only so that others might not feel so alone, but also because trans people have been dehumanised by these f-cking haters. Elliot’s memoir is a living, breathing testament to life. He is real. He is here. He has experienced pain and trauma and regret and loss and also joy, the joy of meeting himself, the joy of getting to know himself. Just like the rest of us. And still, as much as Elliot has struggled, and he has struggled a lot, he knows that he’s had some advantage.
Which is why he told PEOPLE that:
“My experience as a trans person and this life I have, and the privilege I have does not represent the reality of most trans lives.” Nevertheless, representation and visibility are important, he says. “I think it's crucial, I think we need to feel represented and see ourselves, you know, that's not something I had like as a kid. The reality is, trans people disproportionately are unemployed, disproportionately experience homelessness. Trans women of color are being murdered. People are losing their healthcare or couldn't access it.”
That interview precedes an exclusive excerpt that was published at PEOPLE.com from Elliot’s book. It’s an interesting choice, to go with PEOPLE for the promotion. My sense is that there are multiple layers of strategy at play here. PEOPLE of course has the reach, so it’s a simple numbers game for exposure, but PEOPLE also connects the MiniVan Majority and so this coverage is getting to a demographic that probably needs more accurate information about the trans community.
And that’s not all Elliot is doing in the way of promotion through the mainstream. On the same day that the comes out, Elliot will appear in the ABC News Pride special “The Freedom to Exist: A Soul of the Nation Presentation”. In this clip released yesterday, Elliot talks about gender dysphoria:
The special will also “report on the state-wide bans across the country and how they are impacting families and conversations in schools; access to books; the banning or restricting of drag queens from performing; and gender-affirming care”.
It will air on June 6 on ABC.
Yours in gossip,