Elliot Page Says ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’ Helped Him Overcome ‘Shame and Self-Hatred’ About LGBTQ+ Identity

Elliot Page says movies like “But I’m a Cheerleader” provided reduction from a few of his struggles as a younger LGBTQ+ individual.

“I for one know that without the various representation that I was able to stumble upon as a kid and a teenager — there was very little — I just don’t know if I would have made it,” he mentioned whereas receiving Outfest’s Achievement Award on Sunday on the movie competition’s closing evening gala in Los Angeles. “I don’t know if I would have made it through the moments of isolation and loneliness and shame and self-hatred that was so extreme and powerful and all-encompassing that you could hardly see out of it.

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“And then, you know, at 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’ and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life,” he continued. “I almost think we don’t talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for.”

“But I’m a Cheerleader,” a comedy launched in 1999, is a few excessive schooler (Natasha Lyonne) who is shipped to a homosexual conversion program when her mother and father suspect her of being homosexual.

Page, who accepted the award just about as a result of he’s filming in Toronto, got here out as transgender in December. He mentioned the dearth of illustration that continues as we speak is “infuriating.”

“It’s [Outfest] and organizations like yourself that are completely changing that,” the Oscar-nominated star of “The Umbrella Academy” mentioned. “And helping get stories out in the world that I know are reaching people in moments where they feel desperately alone and afraid and like they have no sense of community. And it offers somebody a lifeline. And I know that representation has done that for me.”

Outfest additionally honored Octavia Spencer with the James Schamus Ally Award. As “Just for Variety” first reported, the Oscar winner just lately joined “Right to Try” as a producer. The documentary brief, directed by Zeberiah Newman, tells the story of casting director Jeffrey Drew’s participation in an experimental remedy that researchers hope will remedy him of HIV. The movie premiered at Outfest on Saturday.

“I’m proud to bring LGBTQIA stories to audiences all over the world,” Spencer mentioned, additionally just about. “I’m thrilled that our own film ‘Right to Try’ is also a part of this important festival. I’m always a big fan of the unsung hero, which is why I responded so strongly to Jeffrey Drew’s story. It speaks to the kinds of stories I want to see on screen, celebrating everyday heroes with a true sense of purpose and hope.

“I feel humbled to be acknowledged with this award. It’s important to stand with your friends, and give them the same respect you want for yourself,” she continued. “It is also important to open hearts and minds through authentic storytelling. Good stories can entertain while bringing change and providing hope.”

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