Elliot Page says he had a life-changing kiss with a girl at a gay bar three months before the film ‘Juno’ shot him to fame.
The 36-year-old actor and transgender campaigner – propelled to fame after playing pregnant teen Juno in Jason Reitman’s 2007 black comedy – came out as a trans man years after its release in 2020, and said until the encounter at the nightspot he had been riddled with “shame” over his identity.
Elliot said in an extract from his new memoir ‘Page Boy’, obtained by People about his visit to the gay bar aged 20 with a woman named Paula: “The sound of her voice radiated warmth, a kindness. It wasn’t so much that her eyes lit up but that they found you. I could feel her looking.
“We went to Reflections. It was the first time I had been to a gay bar and would be my last for a long time.
“I was a miserable flirter. Flirting when I didn’t mean to and not when I wanted to.
“We stood close, but not too close. The air so thick, I was swimming in it.”
Elliot added the experience was “new” for him as it was “being in a queer space and being present, enjoying it”.
He said: “Shame had been drilled into my bones since I was my tiniest self, and I struggled to rid my body of that old toxic and erosive marrow.
“But there was a joy in the room, it lifted me, forced a reaction in the jaw, an uncontrolled, steady smile.”
Elliot said when he asked Paula for a kiss he was “jolted by my boldness”, adding: “And then I did. In a queer bar. In front of everyone around us… everything was cold before, motionless, emotionless.
“Any woman I had loved hadn’t loved me back, and the one who maybe had, loved me the wrong way.
“But here I was, on a dance floor with a woman who wanted to kiss me and the antagonising, cruel voice that flooded my head whenever I felt desire was silent.
“Maybe for a second, I could allow myself pleasure,. We leaned in so our lips brushed, the tips of our tongues barely touching, testing, sending shocks through my limbs. We stared at each other, a quiet knowing.”
Elliot added the moment represented being “on the precipice” of “getting closer to my desires”, then said: “But a lot can change in a few months. And in a few months, Juno would premiere.”
Even though the Juno role kicked off Elliot’s career, he told Esquire he went on to suffer gender dysmorphia before he came out, causing him “intense depression, anxiety, and severe panic attacks”.