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"I’m here today because I am gay. "
February 15, 2014 9:42 AM   Subscribe


 
From Twitter:

@moviesbybowes

Polite reminder for straight people who say "who cares" when someone comes out: such gestures are addressed to lonely queer kids. not you.

posted by The Whelk at 9:44 AM on February 15 [151 favorites]


relevant fake graph
posted by idiopath at 9:47 AM on February 15 [17 favorites]


The timing of this is just incredible for fans of a certain videogame...
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:51 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Page and DeGeneres should form a comedy duo.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:55 AM on February 15


Call it "2 Ellens agree"
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:56 AM on February 15 [27 favorites]


Ellen Wheels?
posted by jonmc at 9:56 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


This is the first time in a while when a famous person has come out and my first reaction isn't "Wait, didn't everybody already know this?"

Good for her. Glad she feels she can do this.
posted by rtha at 9:57 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


"Wait, didn't everybody already know this?" I thought she was glass closeted for a while now because there are some relatives I speak to for whom the only mode of conversation is celebrity gossip but still, yeah good for her.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


That right there is a brave and ethical human.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:59 AM on February 15 [8 favorites]


Polite reminder for straight people who say "who cares" when someone comes out: such gestures are addressed to lonely queer kids. not you.

I watched this yesterday and I know this is a big part of why she did it, but I don't get the sense that it was just addressed to lonely queer kids. It's important to have smart, respected, outspoken people involved in 'mainstream' culture speaking out against established practices and prejudices. Hopefully there will come a day when it isn't needed, but it still is. Both this particular speech, and honesty around the issue, has a much broader audience. In many ways the people who say 'who cares' should really be listening, as they may be brushing aside a lot of things. I find that a lot of straight, supportive people cite legal issues as the big barrier, but my own gay friends express things similar to how Ellen did very well: the equal opportunity to be yourself and to love. First and foremost. It's a much more personal thing that needs much more societal growth than the basic human rights issue.
posted by jimmythefish at 10:02 AM on February 15 [18 favorites]


Yeah, it could say more about me and my disconnect from celebrity-related gossip these days.
posted by rtha at 10:03 AM on February 15


rtha, I had the same feeling. I recall telling a friend years ago that I liked Ellen Page as an actress and was immediately told "I hope it isn't a crush because she plays for the other team." So I assumed this was already public knowledge.

But yay, and good for her!
posted by terrapin at 10:04 AM on February 15


Her closet was like Les Nessman's office but even still it can't have been that easy for her. Even though she was pretty much considered "out" by most of us, she had to be considering what if any impact this might have on her career now that it's a stated fact. Would it limit her options, narrow the roles she's offered, etc.
Plus, I think sometimes we forget that while a lot of us live our lives safely on our little islands of liberal sanity, there's still tons of places out there that aren't like that at all. A 14-year old kid in say North Platte, Nebraska that is trying to figure out what they are now has one more positive example of what their life can be.
So good on her for making the understood overt.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:13 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


"I am suggesting that we pay as much attention to our nurturing sensibilities as to our ambition. You are moving in the direction of freedom, and the function of freedom is to free somebody else. . . . In your rainbow journey toward the realization of personal goals, don't make choices based only on your security and safety." Toni Morrison, commencement address at Barnard College, 1979
posted by FelliniBlank at 10:16 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I kind of thought this was already a thing, but there's a certain number of female celebrities where that seems to be a thing--people just sort of understand it and no big fuss is made?

So, yeah. (That's from January of last year, since Tumblr is a bit weird about not dating things.)

But those pictures there were pulled from a Daily Mail article, and so not saying something really kind of increases the pressure to not just be subtle, but be invisible. I'm glad she decided to make it a real statement.
posted by Sequence at 10:17 AM on February 15


Er, the pictures not being of her, but demonstrating that the press just really likes to make these things salacious.
posted by Sequence at 10:17 AM on February 15


I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of nerdy virgins suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
posted by Talez at 10:18 AM on February 15


Her closet was like Les Nessman's office

There's got to be a word for the feeling of "That's a really great analogy--ohwaitGodIamsoold".

I bet it's German.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:33 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


In related news, just this afternoon, Shia Lebeouf has also announced that he is a lesbian.
posted by kafziel at 10:34 AM on February 15 [43 favorites]


A big part of her point was that being in the closet hurt her. “I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility. I also do it selfishly, because I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission....I suffered for years because I was afraid to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered and my relationships suffered.” I'm not discounting the social responsibility that she mentions, but she clearly came out in large part because having her sexual orientation be an open secret wasn't working for her.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:37 AM on February 15 [24 favorites]


I don't think there is a greater display of strength and courage in this world than when someone speaks truth that causes their voice to quiver.
posted by any major dude at 10:39 AM on February 15 [36 favorites]


Good for her. And while, like a lot of people here, I had already assumed she was gay, it hits close to home because being out is not the binary I thought it was when I was younger. I'm about the same age as Ellen Page, and when I was living a much more private life as an older teenager and university student, I considered myself out. But now that I'm an adult, living more publicly - that is to say, relying on a greater number of people than just my parents or a university for shelter and livelihood and safety - I'm a lot more closeted than I used to be. I'm out to my friends, but I would hesitate to mention a girlfriend to most colleagues at work, or to my boss, or to my landlord, or to a doctor or cop. I don't lie, but I keep my mouth shut when everyone else is talking about their opposite-sex partners or making comments that assume I'm straight too.

I'm not even famous, but those little moments of fear and worry in your public life eat away at you at the best of times. I'm very glad she did this.
posted by northernish at 10:50 AM on February 15 [30 favorites]


My first reaction was surprise that she wasn't out already, but my more important, second reaction is GIVE US A KITTY PRYDE MOVIE ALREADY.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:55 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]




In related news, just this afternoon, Shia Lebeouf has also announced that he is a lesbian.

In response, an angry Spike Lee tweets the address of the Beef Council.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 10:57 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


The fact that I'm not "allowed" to say "Who cares" shows we have a long way to go.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:59 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


The fact that I'm not "allowed" to say "Who cares" shows we have a long way to go.

That you think your speech has been restricted instead of simply having your "Who cares" question pre-emptively answered confuses me.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:02 AM on February 15 [76 favorites]


I'm happy for her.
Also, I think this will actually help her (slightly flat) career because the honesty is engaging. I'm looking forward to her new X-Men movie, and seeing her steal some good parts from Jennifer Lawrence.
posted by w0mbat at 11:05 AM on February 15


I'm one of those people who was surprised to hear that Ellen Page was gay (context: straight male, middle-aged, follows some pop culture but not a lot). I'm happy that she has come out and is able to be true to herself and her feelings after so many years of hiding the truth, but I've seen a lot of people on the Web express a near-snobbish sort of shock about people not "knowing" this already, or at least suspecting she was a lesbian for "a long time". Honest question: what were these indicators that people saw in Page's behaviour or history that the rest of us didn't pick up on?
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 11:08 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Why can't YouTube videos ever have their audio properly mixed? There must be someone at HRC that is an A/V guy. I have the volume cranked an I can barely hear her.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:09 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


The fact that I'm not "allowed" to say "Who cares" shows we have a long way to go.

So oppressed.
posted by kmz at 11:10 AM on February 15 [11 favorites]


spoobnooble: for my part a combination of working in and around film & tv and dating/living with a woman who is now out as a lesbian meant that this fell into the realm of "vaguely interesting common knowledge," so nothing to be snobby about, just something where I now realize that what was "common knowledge" to me wouldn't be to others necessarily.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:15 AM on February 15


Let the pre-judgment commence.
posted by humboldt32 at 11:28 AM on February 15


When I read "Juno star Ellen Page announced" I was hoping it was related to her making an appearance as Treena Lahey in the new Trailer Park Boys movie.

Seriously, I hope this is a boon for her career, for purely selfish reasons of course. She has such tremendous talent.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:29 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


> The fact that I'm not "allowed" to say "Who cares" shows we have a long way to go.

> So oppressed.

That's not how I read it. My reading is that yeah, we do still have a long way to go and one of the ways we know this is that saying "Who cares" is a pretty insensitive thing to say in response to someone's coming out, and that in this cultural and historic context, loud expressions of "Who cares?!" should get at least an eye-roll if only to inform the speaker that they are speaking from a blinkered position and maybe should think about that.

Me, personally, I don't "care" about Page being a lesbian. But I do care about Page coming out, because it's important for her as a person (closets are toxic) and it's the kind of act that really can and does make a difference for people she will never meet. I used to be one of those people, and every celebrity who came out gave me a little hope for my future. One day it won't be a big deal.
posted by rtha at 11:32 AM on February 15 [39 favorites]


Kitty Gay Pryde
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:32 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Let the pre-judgment commence.

For reals? OMG you people are so intolerant of my indifference, when my indifference is a passionately felt part of my identity! To reject my lack of interest in this subject is to diminish me as a human!
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:33 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


Who cares?

A lot of gay people frightened to come out might, and a lot of homophobes too.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:34 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


[Folks, maybe we can avoid a derail about whether it's ok to not care about post subject.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:36 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


relevant SNL skit from 2008

Awesome, and not just because of my mad crush on Andy Samberg.
posted by bunderful at 11:39 AM on February 15


Ellen Page, Many Others Remind Internet Commenters About Existence of Back Button and Lack of Requirement to Comment on Every Single Story
posted by Etrigan at 11:40 AM on February 15 [16 favorites]


I found it a bit weird that Samberg's character's belief that sexual orientation is a choice is not only unchallenged by the sketch but is kind of his last word in it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:42 AM on February 15


Should the sarcasm have been more obvious?
posted by jimmythefish at 11:47 AM on February 15


When you think about just how controlled, measured, and performative a person's professional life is and then you see them as emotionally charged as that, speaking about something in real life...it's really moving. I can't fathom anyone not finding the video clip at least somewhat inspiring or significant in some way, and I consider myself a pretty cynical, easily bored person.
posted by trackofalljades at 11:48 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I found it a bit weird that Samberg's character's belief that sexual orientation is a choice is not only unchallenged by the sketch but is kind of his last word in it.

Hmm, I loved it that the character is kind of ignorant but still loving and accepting, so that the ignorance propels him to offer to turn gay, instead of demanding that she choose straightness.
posted by bunderful at 11:50 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


I just hope this doesn't lead to her getting pigeon-holed
posted by Flashman at 11:52 AM on February 15


I honestly have no idea who this girl is, but fine. I think the more people who say "who cares?" the better. Yes, it's good for LGBT kids to have role models. But it's better for them to read comments that nobody cares who sleeps with whom than to read comments that talk about how wrong it is to love someone of the same sex.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:52 AM on February 15


Hopefully there will come a day when it isn't needed, but it still is.

I'm feeling really good about the next generation.
My son is in grade 7 and was hanging out quite a bit with a certain girl and I casually asked if she might be his girlfriend. "She's gay, dad" he responded with an eye roll, like I was the squarest person on the planet. They're best friends, Minecrafting over Skype constantly. It's funny, while I was dropping him off at her house this morning, he brought up, with utter disbelief, that Republican anti-gay segregation bill brouhaha that's going on down there in the U S of A, completely not understanding how homophobia is a thing.
Our demographic skews toward the progressive, for sure, but in general I think, yeah: the kids are alright.
posted by chococat at 11:53 AM on February 15 [38 favorites]


I watched the speech after seeing it linked all over this morning, and was struck by how moving and thoughtful it was. I hope this leads to her being happy as arson, and that any impacts to her career are positive.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:57 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I actually think 'who cares' is a splendid response. Though not as good as 'oh, good for her', of course.

When rebellion becomes dull, it means you've won.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:58 AM on February 15


My apologies for the trolling. I care. I know who cares. I also knew I'd get some knee-jerk responses accusing me of being on the wrong side of this while knowing nothing about me whatsoever. That's the very definition of prejudiced.

My point is that there is this sort of reverse-prejudice that exists and it's equally insidious. In order to move beyond this we have to reach the point where no one cares.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:00 PM on February 15


[Do not troll here, period.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:03 PM on February 15 [13 favorites]


Roger that. Never again.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:03 PM on February 15


I actually think 'who cares' is a splendid response.

There are still a lot of hostile homophobic people who say, "Who cares?" to mean "I wish those people would stop pushing their aberrant sexuality in the faces of normal people. Anyone who admits publicly to being gay is just a big attention whore, and they should shut up so that I can more easily pretend that they don't exist or matter."
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:04 PM on February 15 [46 favorites]


I hear similar statements all the time in my region, and you can see them all over the Internet comments.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:05 PM on February 15


I think it depends on your perspective. Ellen Page, I assume, is a young, white, wealthy actress in a very gay-friendly Hollywood. As opposed to Michael Sam, say, her coming out is not CNN Headline news.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:07 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I don't think this will make that much different to her career--she's not been competing with Megan Fox for the same roles, to name one random actress. And I think kids in North Platte are rather more clued-in than one might think. Good for her, and someday people won't need to make these statements and the Blue won't post about them.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:14 PM on February 15


happy as arson

Big thumbs, small keyboard. That was supposed to be "happy as a person," though if she wants to come out as an arsonist too then more power to her.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:16 PM on February 15 [22 favorites]


Ellen Page, I assume, is a young, white, wealthy actress in a very gay-friendly Hollywood.

Hollywood as a business doing business with the rest of the world, is not as gay friendly as Hollywood as a culture unto itself. Certainly not so gay-friendly that we can assume that she would have become a wealthy actress if she'd been out at the start. There's still a lot of resistance to casting out gay actors in specifically hetero roles -- such as being an unwed pregnant girl for example -- and the present situation represents an improvement from just a few years ago.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:17 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


As a queer person, I'm pretty psyched to have her on Team Queer, because she's fucking great.

I think one must keep in mind, though, that the HRC is still a shitty organization that has thrown trans people in particular and queer folk who don't fit into their heteronormative, marriage-centered agenda in general under the bus.
posted by NoraReed at 12:18 PM on February 15 [14 favorites]


My apologies for the trolling. I care. I know who cares. I also knew I'd get some knee-jerk responses accusing me of being on the wrong side of this while knowing nothing about me whatsoever. That's the very definition of prejudiced.

No, it just means you think that Poe's Law doesn't apply to this statement, and that acknowledging the perspective of those directly affected somehow gets equated to revocation of free speech.

My point is that there is this sort of reverse-prejudice that exists and it's equally insidious. In order to move beyond this we have to reach the point where no one cares.

Yeah, well, we're not at that point yet, so this "reverse-prejudice" (is this some wierd reverse racism parallel?) doesn't really exist.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:19 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Yeah, Page being gay hasn't been a secret for quite some time. But that doesn't mean it didn't take a lot of courage for her to get up there and announce it to the world in the way she did. Hell, I get the cold sweats just thinking about talking to large groups of people much less talking about my sexuality in front of them.
posted by Justinian at 12:21 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Does this change my opinion of her as an actor? Absolutely not.

Am I delighted that one less person feels they have to hide who they are and who they love in such a toxic way? Absolutely yes.

May there be a day when these sorts of revelations are non-stories and on par with finding out an actor has pets or thinks cilantro tastes like soap.
posted by teleri025 at 12:22 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


We are getting to the end of the time when such announcements make the news at all. Which is a wonderful thing.
posted by LarryC at 12:25 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Hollywood actually seems more closeted than a lot of industries.
posted by octothorpe at 12:29 PM on February 15


Hollywood actually seems more closeted than a lot of industries.

Well, some actors it seems aren't really in the running for "straight" roles after coming out IRL, and when Randy from accounting comes out it doesn't trend on twitter the next day, so I think it's a little different, but hopefully this will change that a bit.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:34 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I think it depends on your perspective. Ellen Page, I assume, is a young, white, wealthy actress in a very gay-friendly Hollywood.
First of all, if you don't know who she is, google can help you with that. There's no shame in being ignorant, but it will only take you a few seconds to rectify your ignorance, and I'm not entirely sure what the point is of repeatedly announcing that you don't know who she is.

Maybe it shouldn't have been hard for her to come out, but if you watch the actual video, you can see that it was hard. And because she's the one living her life, and I'm not, I'm going to assume that there are reasons that it was hard. She doesn't have to be the most heroic person who ever graced the earth for me to applaud her courage and be glad that she's done something that will help herself and others.
Hollywood actually seems more closeted than a lot of industries.
Hollywood thinks it's selling the personality of celebrities, and it has a pretty low opinion of its customer base. Whether that's warranted or not seems to me to be an open question.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:37 PM on February 15 [27 favorites]


ArbitraryAndCapricious wins today's Username Award (as judged by a panel of me.)
posted by Navelgazer at 12:45 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I kind of thought this was already a thing, but there's a certain number of female celebrities where that seems to be a thing--people just sort of understand it and no big fuss is made?

So, yeah. (That's from January of last year, since Tumblr is a bit weird about not dating things.)


Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait. She was/is romantically involved with Clea Duvall?

I want to say something, but I'm afraid my brain has completely melted and I'm reduced to just blinking and occasionally opening and closing my mouth.

Jeez. That's gonna keep me warm at night for the next few months.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:16 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


I like her as an actress. Her name on a poster makes me more likely to buy a ticket. She's young, and in an industry which is extremely normative, in a world where being gay is illegal in more than a third of countries. Good on her for standing up to be counted.

One day we'll be in a world where this is not news any more than who Jason Statham is engaged to or what Will Smith likes for breakfast. We're not there yet, and she's pushing us forward.

Actually, you know what's sad? She's younger than me, and yet this is still a quasi-political thing. I kind of assumed I would grow up in the bright future. I want flying cars, self-tying shoes, and universal human rights. Two of those are negotiable.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 1:21 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


I'm glad we're getting to the point where we can start to ask if this is newsworthy, but Ellen Page coming out still matters for all the right reasons. I hope her career is long and successful as she's a really talented actress.
posted by arcticseal at 1:29 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I kind of thought this was already a thing, but there's a certain number of female celebrities where that seems to be a thing--people just sort of understand it and no big fuss is made?

So, yeah. (That's from January of last year, since Tumblr is a bit weird about not dating things.)

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait. She was/is romantically involved with Clea Duvall?

I want to say something, but I'm afraid my brain has completely melted and I'm reduced to just blinking and occasionally opening and closing my mouth.

Jeez. That's gonna keep me warm at night for the next few months.


The pics Sequence linked to are not of Ellen Page, though: Here's the original article.
posted by devinemissk at 1:34 PM on February 15


The pics Sequence linked to are not of Ellen Page, though.

Oh well, a girl can dream.

Oh man, can I dream.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:38 PM on February 15


I think humboldt's point, though poorly presented, is a valuable one. The line of which fights we have to fight in general conversation when this sort of thing happens is shifting in a powerful way.

When some says "why is this news?" the fight we are having is one about the need to continue making the world a safer place for young queer people to be themselves. That's much better than the old fight.

Similarly, I made the questionable decision to read a bunch of youtube comments and, while there were still some "she disgusts me, I hope she burns in hell" diatribes, by far the most common problematic comment was of the "as a straight male, I find this disappointing because I wanted to fuck her" variety. And if the battleground is now convincing people that those statements are harmful, man, that's a much better fight.

For that matter, I had a momentary cringe at Katemonkey's comment above (not a callout, btw). Because the "this is great news to me as a queer lady, because I wanted to fuck her" type comments are the mirror side of the same thing, though way less creepy because gender power dymanics.

Of course, when a male celebrity comes out as gay, the "as a gay man, this is great news" comments and the "as a straight lady, this is terrible news" comments are both a little creepy, but both of these, and Katemonkey's comment, are far less problematic than the straight man lamenting the coming out of a famous woman.

It just seems to me that this is a sign that the bigger fight is shifting away from actually being about homophobia and more towards the everpresent issue of sexism and the male gaze. And that is actually a very good thing with a really ugly paint job.
posted by 256 at 1:41 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


Buzzfeed kind of hinted back in September that she's more than BFFs with Alia Shawkat.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:41 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


i am tired of the bureaucratic neo-liberal governmental hrc hijacking coming out narratives, and i am equally tired of the discourse being about love, it mainstreams and makes palatable the discursive nature of queerness, and esp, queer fucking.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:44 PM on February 15


relevant SNL skit from 2008

Your move, Samberg.
posted by xigxag at 1:52 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


happy as arson

I now see it was a typo but I first read this to mean "happy like a house afire" which could be an odd but colorful phrase indicating enthusiasm. Works either way.
posted by Morrigan at 2:19 PM on February 15 [12 favorites]


Ooh, yeah. Sort of gleeful enthusiasm with a tinge of rebel badassery...
posted by this is a thing at 3:45 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I totally want "Happy as arson" to be a thing. So I can say I'm happy as arson that Ellen Page came out. Every bit helps like a house on fire.
posted by happyroach at 3:48 PM on February 15 [8 favorites]


battleground is now convincing people that those statements are harmful, man, that's a much better fight.

Why, exactly, are they harmful?

are far less problematic than the straight man lamenting the coming out of a famous woman.

Men being attracted to women and talking about that is not "problematic", any more than anyone else. Talking about it in a violent non-consensual way, maybe yes -- and I'm sure there's plenty of that on youtube -- but lamenting the unavailability of a crush isn't oppression. Maybe it "feels" icky to you, but making general judgements like that *is* problematic in my opinion, because that's *exactly* that same reasoning that anti-gay bigots are using.

The reality of the situation is that Ellen Page is an actress who none of these people had any chance of meeting in the first place, so these are mild fantasies, not demands or even judgements of Ellen herself.

... and the male gaze

I find that the "male gaze" theory has sometimes been re-purposed to be a lot broader than it really should be. A lot of the time, it becomes how someone's expressions of sexuality offends ones personal sensibilities, rather than about systematic oppression. Random men (and women) lusting after Ellen Page is not oppression, any more than any other public figure, or private one, for that matter. There is no way you're are going to convince me that anyone having a crush is "problematic."
posted by smidgen at 4:39 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Ellen Page stars in "hearts ablaze" a new romantic comedy about two Arsonists in love.
posted by The Whelk at 4:44 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


On the one hand I'm happy for Ellen Page

On the other hand this means I will never ever be married to Ellen Page

gah!
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:05 PM on February 15


Yeah, Page being gay hasn't been a secret for quite some time.

I had no idea (not that it matters). Nor did I particularly care in the sense that I never gave it much thought because she seems like a decent actress. It's cool that coming out will help her feel better about herself and serve as a role model for others. So...a good thing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:12 PM on February 15


Because of this, I just found out about about the full-length/dramatized version of "Freeheld" that's being made. Looking forward to it.
posted by kyrademon at 6:28 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


There's a big difference between having a crush on a celebrity and redefining their coming out in terms of their value to you as a sex object.
posted by 256 at 6:40 PM on February 15 [11 favorites]


A friend of mine shared a story with me about a dude coming into his workplace with a fucking black armband because Ellen Page came out.
posted by flatluigi at 6:42 PM on February 15


I think the reason that it's annoying every time some dude comes in to talk about how ~sad~ he is that a woman is a lesbian is that it seems like straight dudes can't handle any conversation, ever, happening without one of them sticking their dick in to tell us how it feels
posted by NoraReed at 6:56 PM on February 15 [18 favorites]


smidgen there's a reason you don't see i'd hit it comments on metafilter anymore, and it's bc it was decided that being attracted to someone and talking about that attraction can sometimes get problematic when it disrupts discussion of anything else notable about the individual. that hasn't happened here, and personally i was totally ok with the one comment above, pretty innocent. i wouldn't want to read an entire thread peppered with references to someone's appearance/fuckability. too often that dynamic pops up when a person's appearance has absolutely nothing even to do with whatever is being discussed.

page references some related issues when she brings up the pressure that the media puts on our culture, that hollywood places on artists/entertainers. how to look, how to act, what/who is valuable. and yeah, though talent has its place, sex appeal is definitely part of the bottom line, so the "too bad they're gay" card is something that every actor/celebrity/tv personality has to factor in when they're weighing whether to come out. it's a big enough issue to keep some fairly rich and connected people in the closet.

she didn't say this explicitly, but i'm sure she knows that she runs the risk of getting pigeon-holed into gay roles and not being hired for roles to play straight characters. lesbianism specifically is really objectified in hollywood storylines-- see any interviews with actors who have a lesbian kiss/sex scene. in every interview they always always ALWAYS get asked how the kiss was, and whether they were comfortable or not filming whatever. brokeback mountain otoh didn't inspire that reaction asfaik (anyone please feel free to correct me on that). all of that on top of being a woman in hollywood and the shit that already comes with? early forced retirement, impossible beauty standards, lack of substantive interesting roles bc nobody wants to pay to watch women to be anything other than eye candy onscreen?

i'm sure the horde of gay fans could keep her employed, but sometimes you just wanna get hired for your ability, do your job as best you can, and without any of that other bullshit hanging over your head.

anyway, congrats ms page. i wish you a slightly-less-toxic life now that you're free from that glass closet. and yeah, nice speech.
posted by twist my arm at 7:07 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


It'd be nice when this is a non-issue, but it isn't yet.

And y'know, not to be a pessimist, I don't think we're ever going to do diversity right in the U.S.
Even when it's not a big deal, we get into it not being a big deal or not. Maybe because we don't have an other identity (e.g. we're not 'Polish' or 'German' in the sense that other countries are)
And part of that is that many other countries have no idea how to see us. Overseas, serving with some guys from other countries, there's some serious racism going on. And one of our guys was in civilian clothes and started to catch some crap from some people from elsewhere (I won't mention the country) and he said something along the lines of WTF and they changed their tune. "Oh, you are American?" yeah. "Oh, sorry."
Like suddenly his skin was a different color.

In that sense, nothing for me about Ellen Page has changed. Good for her. Great for people who feel more accepted. Carry on trying to be excellent to each other.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:08 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


On the other hand this means I will never ever be married to Ellen Page

I hate to break this to you but the chances of you marrying Ms. Page haven't actually changed.
posted by octothorpe at 7:59 PM on February 15 [16 favorites]


lamenting the unavailability of a crush isn't oppression

As in so many areas of life, simply having a crush is hardly ever the problem. It's that moment when you have the urge to tell other people about it that typically presents you with the choice between making the world a little bit better or a little bit worse.
posted by straight at 8:19 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Good for her. Keep fighting the good fight!
posted by Renoroc at 8:22 PM on February 15


simply having a crush is hardly ever the problem.

Well, that is tautological (and a little patronizing) -- unless you believe in telepathy. :-)

I think this kind of a derail, so this is all I'll say, but just to defend myself a bit here, I think that there is a very big difference between wearing a black armband (I knew an asshole once...) and making a mild joke about not being able to marry her (note to #, the unavailability is the point of the joke...).
posted by smidgen at 9:20 PM on February 15


I have to imagine that even being in a glass closet is awfully stressful for a relationship. Nobody in a consenting adult relationship should feel they need to keep it hidden, that to be public will be seen as shameful or cost them future work. And the more people like Ms. Page are out in all sorts of public and work spaces, tge more normalized it will become, and eventually the haters will be opposing the status quo, instead of defending it. That's an important day to get to, and we get there step by step, by people having the courage to do what Ms. Page did.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:45 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


E! Deletes Story Mocking Ellen Page Following Her Coming Out Speech
The article asked "Why does this petite beauty insist upon dressing like a massive man?" The answer she gave in the speech? "Because I like to be comfortable."

Sorry of has been posted above. I can't see it, and all of this post and several around it are in the small font for some reason.
posted by Mezentian at 9:58 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I think this will actually help her (slightly flat) career

she's not been competing with Megan Fox for the same roles

Actually I may agree a bit here. But I don't think her career is flat so much as sparse -- she seems to have clearly been rejecting roles that would heteronormatively be "great" for her, such as any number of conventional rom-coms. I hope it's not too icky to observe that she is still objectively quite attractive (even "dressing like a massive man" as E! crassly put it). But she probably didn't want to do that stuff and was certainly open as early as five years ago to doing a satirical take on herself in that vein.

The stuff she's done since breaking out career-wise have been distinctly non-relationship-oriented, from Kitty Pryde, to Ariadne (Inception), to Whip-It, to Super (in which she's great, btw, if you can find it). As with actresses of a certain age, though, Hollywood doesn't offer that many roles that don't fit certain niches like girlfriend or mom. This may have been hurting her in terms of work she could have taken and box office she could have built, but then she wouldn't want to have taken that work anyway because it would have compromised who she is.

Anyway, I am definitely interested in her Freeheld project. Seems like (particularly given the time that's passed) it's a passion for her and I always find that passion makes for interesting work.
posted by dhartung at 12:28 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Well, congratulations to her for making such a momentous personal decision :)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:12 AM on February 16


> "But I don't think her career is flat so much as sparse ..."

Yeah ... I mean, I understand what's being said, but "slightly flat" seems like an odd way to talk about an actress who had an important role in a film as prominent as "Inception" just a few years ago and is in another extremely high profile film coming out this year. I get that, in between those, "The East" and "Touchy Feely" didn't exactly become household names, but Ellen Page's career tragectory certainly doesn't look like that of, say, Thora Birch.
posted by kyrademon at 5:15 AM on February 16


Hollywood actually seems more closeted than a lot of industries

Hollywood feeds on stereotypes, with white, straight and indeterminate ethnicity considered the normal state. Even removing the specter of homophobia from the question, letting your public image stray too far from the standard will limit your roles considerably.

It isn't limited to the talent either. I don't think I'm breaking new ground in mentioning that image is so much more important than substance in that industry.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:54 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


How much is this really about the public versus being about the money?

I keep imagining some money guys running mental simulations of The American Public that "tell" them the project will bomb if Star/Starlet can't easily be heteronormatively fetishized.

I think it's possible for that to be the reason behind your closeting and you not really even understand it, if you internalize that money-guy model of your public. If you're really unlucky, you extend it to yourself.
posted by lodurr at 7:36 AM on February 16


I don't want to conflate an actress with her character, but I have to say that with now-proudly-out Ellen Page playing Kitty Pryde, we are getting damned close to one of my teenage "it would be better this way" desires to have a queer Kitty Pryde.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:51 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


but Ellen Page's career tragectory certainly doesn't look like that of, say, Thora Birch.

i was just flipping through the thora birch tag on tumblr earlier. i have always loved her. i get so sad when i think of her situation. i hope she's found some healing and happiness and i hope her father is far, far away from her.
posted by nadawi at 11:56 AM on February 17


I just hope this doesn't lead to her getting pigeon-holed

I keep reading this as "pigeon-toed", wondering what on earth lesbianism has to do with feet, then figuring it's some joke the kids are telling these days that I will finally be in on in about 5 more years, and then realizing.
posted by bunderful at 1:11 PM on February 17


A Tale of Two Ellens
posted by flatluigi at 12:32 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


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