On December 1, 2020, Elliot Page opened up to the world via Instagram about being transgender and non-binary. Page, who uses he/him or they/them pronouns and starred in the films Juno and X-Men and Netflix show Umbrella Academy, wrote the following in his social media post:
“I feel overwhelming gratitude for the incredible people who have supported me along this journey. I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self. I’ve been endlessly inspired by so many in the trans community.”
Page further wrote that his joy in making this announcement also feels “fragile,” because he recognizes that discrimination, hate, and violence toward trans folx is still widespread and carries “horrific consequences.” In 2020 alone, at least 40 trans people have been murdered in the United States, most of whom were Black and Latinx trans women. These individuals include Aerrion Burnett, Nina Pop, Felycya Harris, Tony McDade, and many others, given that these murders are often misreported or not reported at all. Furthermore, just days before Page’s announcement, actress and advocate Laverne Cox shared that she and a friend were victims of a transphobic attack while hiking near Los Angeles.
CCSD celebrates Page’s authenticity and courage in sharing themself with the world. We also recognize that countless trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and genderqueer folx – including those who are studying and working at the University of Delaware – are still forced to live in silence and fear due to transphobia and oppression. CCSD encourages all members of the UD community – especially those who identify as cisgender (those who are not transgender, meaning that their gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth) – to deepen and expand their understanding of what it means to be a trans or non-binary person, and to work tirelessly toward a future in which all human beings can live in safety as their authentic selves. Some resources are included below for members of the trans and non-binary community at UD, as well as resources for allies to support and empower trans folx in our lives and communities.
This article, for example, by GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), provides guidelines for communicating about Page and other trans and non-binary people, including use of correct pronouns and avoidance of “deadnaming”. While written specifically for journalists, the article also provides important and valuable information for cisgender people.
- Trans Lifeline
- Trevor Lifeline
- TRANSCEND at Hope Rising (Transgender support group in Newark):
- National Center for Trans Equality
- The Trevor Project’s guide to Being an Ally
- 2020 violence against trans and gender non-binary/non-conforming community: https://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-trans-and-gender-non-conforming-community-in-2020