I Know How Elliot Page’s Wife Feels

(Photo by Cecilie Johnsen on Unsplash)

On December 1st, Elliot Page took to his social media pages to come out as transgender and announce his name and pronouns to the world. To steal a line from Tina Belcher, my heart pooped its pants. 

Page opened his statement with, “Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.” 

Co-stars from Page’s past and current movies and shows took to social media to voice their support and welcome him. Patrick Wilson (Hard Candy), Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen (the X-Men movies), and the cast of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy (as well as Netflix itself) all voiced support on their respective Twitter pages. 

Back in 2018, Page announced his marriage to professional dancer Emma Portner via Instagram.  After Page’s coming out, Portner voiced public support for her husband. But, every party has a pooper and every social media page has a troll (or two). Leave it to someone to question her and say, “But now you know you have a husband. I hope you are not a lesbian.” Portner responded as genuine as can be with, “I hope you know my sexual preferences and gender identity are none of your business. For me to decide, thank you. Release your labels of me. I am as fluid as can be.”

Almost four years ago, I began dating my boyfriend. Before we met, he had come out as transgender and I was a lesbian. 

After we made it “official”, I braced myself for the inevitable comment- “So, you like guys now?” Sure enough, it did come from a few people. That was the more crass version of it. The more fun version of it was one of my oldest friends being like, “It’s just weird saying that you have a boyfriend now but he’s so much better for you than your ex was.” He was, indeed, quite the upgrade in my romantic life. 

The adjustment of sexuality and gender is a valid process. People will always say, “it’s just a phase,” when it comes to anything that’s not heterosexuality or a cisgender being. There is a fluidity to gender and sexuality after you find yourself within the LGBTQ+. Over the years, I’ve found myself going from straight, to bi, to lesbian, to here I am at pan. 

Did I find myself in a bit of an identity crisis in wondering who I was and where my sexuality was leading me when I started talking serious with a guy? Yup. Was I concerned about saving face as an open lesbian? Not really. I was more concerned about having found someone who had connected with me on the deepest possible level. 

It did feel like I was taking my armor off, in a sense. I went from holding hands with another girl to what could be seen as a “straight assuming” relationship. That does only go so far because you hold the worry in the back of your mind of transphobic violence and hate speech towards your partner. Then, the armor gets put back on. 

Page captured the emotion well in his coming out post, emphasizing that, “My joy is real, but it is also fragile. The truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I’m scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the ‘jokes’ and of violence.”

It has been summed up as “love it love” and could easily be left at that but, damn, it is exhausting sometimes having people question your personal life, be it people you know personally or strangers on the internet. 

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