When Ellen Page first came out as a lesbian in that epic speech for the Human Rights Campaign, I didn’t think I could get any prouder of her. But that was before I listened to what she had to say to Ellen DeGeneres when she went on her show to discuss the process. My heart is just swelling with love and pride for this girl, and yours will too.
Obviously Ellen knows just exactly what Ellen was going through (ah yes, two women with similar experiences who have the same name, this is going to be difficult), so the two of them were able to skip over the small talk of ‘how did you feel?’ and ‘what made you decide to do that?’ that other interviewers would have to go through.
DeGeneres knows exactly what Page must have been feeling leading up to that speech; everything from the excitement to the fear to the shame to the joy and the thrill and the nerves and all the conflicting emotions. And since they have that shorthand with each other so they’re able to have the most amazing, open conversation about what it feels like for Page to be out after keeping her sexuality a secret for so long. Short answer? Effing amazing.
Page: “I knew I would be a happier person. I knew that I was gonna feel better, but I did not anticipate just how happy I would feel in every aspect of my life. Just an ease and a comfort, and it’s really been quite extraordinary to feel just the shift. And it was pretty much overnight too. Just a weight.”
DeGeneres: “Yeah, because you’re releasing shame.”
DeGeneres: “It doesn’t matter what it is, what you’re carrying around — that’s your secret. Everyone has something that you’re carrying around that they’re ashamed of, and to carry shame around is a…first of all it causes diseases, you just can’t… it’s a horrible thing to be ashamed of yourself.”
Page: “Yes it’s toxic, and I think we talked about this a bit where you know you think you’re at a place where you’re like ‘Oh I’m happy to be gay, I’m so comfortable being gay, I love being gay’, and honestly it wasn’t until making that choice in doing that where I realized no, I was carrying a tremendous amount of shame and guilt for not being out and I felt isolated from the LGBT community and now I don’t so
Oh, my heart! I’m just so proud and happy that I want to go home and hug everyone I know and have ever cared about and say, “Give me your shame! Give me all of it, because I love you!” And that’s a great feeling to start your morning with.