Ellen Page Says Hollywood Pressured Her to Stay in the Closet

Ellen Page.
Ellen Page. Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

In her early 20s, when she had just fallen in love with a woman for the first time but was not yet publicly out, Ellen Page faced endless speculation in the press about her sexuality. That experience, she says, was detrimental to her mental health at the time — especially because people in Hollywood were simultaneously pressuring her to stay in the closet, Page explains in a new interview with Porter Edit.

Page, now 32 and married to dancer Emma Portner, has previously spoken out about her journey to coming out in Hollywood. A year after coming out in 2014 at age 26, she expressed regret “for not being a visible person for the community, and for having the privilege that I had and not using it.” And in 2017, she said that her X-Men: The Last Stand director Brett Ratner publicly outed her on set when she was only 18 and not ready to address the issue.

Reflecting on her career before she came out, Page told Porter Edit, “I was distinctly told, by people in the industry, when I started to become known: ‘People cannot know you’re gay.’ And I was pressured — forced, in many cases — to always wear dresses and heels for events and photo shoots.” She continued, “As if lesbians don’t wear dresses and heels. But I will never let anyone put me in anything I feel uncomfortable in ever again.”

Page further said that, despite the intrusive public speculation about her sexuality and the pressure to keep it quiet, she felt a sense of responsibility to come out. “I want to be able to help in any way I can, and I want to make queer content,” the actress said.

Ellen Page Says Hollywood Pressured Her to Stay in Closet