In December of last year, Oscar nominee Elliot Page came out as transgender. “Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot,” the actor wrote in a note, later thanking his fans for all the “love” he’s received. One of his biggest supporters is Ian McKellen, the English actor who worked with Page on two X-Men movies, 2006’s The Last Stand and 2014’s Days of Future Past.
McKellen told Attitude magazine that he’s “so happy” for Page. “Everything gets better [when] you come out because you get self-confidence,” he said (McKellen came out publicly in 1988) “So you get better in terms of relationships, friends of all sorts, family, if you’re lucky. And in my case, I think in every case, your acting is bound to change and improve.” The Lord of the Rings star also expressed disappointment “in myself” for an incident while he and Page were shooting X-Men:
“I remember Elliot Page, in one of the X-Men, sat as close as we are now. And I had to speak when they’d finished, and I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Nobody could hear what they were saying. So, I said, ‘Look, if you can’t speak up, would you mind when you’re finished speaking, just dropping your hand so I know when you’ve finished speaking?’ And then they came out [as gay] years later and suddenly you couldn’t stop them talking. You heard everything. And now… they’re Elliot. And I’m so happy for Elliot. And so disappointed in myself that I didn’t detect what their difficulty was with communicating.”
If only all 80 year olds were as progressive and cool as Ian McKellen.