Ellen Page, star of Hard Candy and Juno, rather candidly addressed to a crowd of South by Southwest attendees this past Saturday how coming out at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to Thrive event back impacted her career.
Currently serving as creator and host of Viceland’s Gaycation, the actress shared that after being publicly out for over two years and despite how it may or may not have hurt her career, on a personal level she felt like a happier and healthier person.
“I’m not in rooms where people are making decisions of who to send what to, and the truth is, I’m absolutely not focusing on it,” Page told the audience in Austin. “Because being in the closet hurt my career way more than being out and being happy and feeling inspired again, being able to fuse my authentic self with creative interests, and that wasn’t something I could do.”
The actress also touched on how producing entertainment projects with an LGBTQ bend has resulted in a lot more questions about what it’s like creating “gay” media. It’s the a line of question that, according to the actress, rubs her the wrong way.
“You would never even bring that up with a straight person. You would not say, ‘Oh, you’re doing another movie where you play a straight person, are you a little worried about it?” Page explained. “And no judgment, I’m just saying these are the standards and this is the conversation that needs to change, you know? It really does.”
As for her work on Gaycation? She’s “grateful” for the experience, but understands how her coming out directly impacts to the work the show is doing for the diverse LGBTQ community.
“It’s just something I’ve been reflecting on, as to, ‘Oh, what if I hadn’t come out?’” Page shared.
“Let’s think about how much that limits people, or limits people of all minorities who are not given opportunities to create work,” she continued. ” We do a job that’s about telling stories. Obviously, it’s imperative—we can’t just be telling stories about one group of people. People need to have opportunity, and that’s what’s going to make the whole industry grow and blossom.”