Actor Elliot Page is one of the most famous transgender men in the world. In his memoir, Pageboy, he shares his journey of coming out and living as his authentic self.
In one harrowing episode, Page recounts being confronted by an angry stranger in Los Angeles last year. According to the Washington Post’s review of his book, Page wrote that he was taking a walk when a man approached him and said menacingly, “I’m going to beat you up, f*****.” (Some outlets have reported that the man instead said he was going to “gay bash” Page.) Page fled into a nearby store. From outside the door, he wrote, the man yelled, “This is why I need a gun!”
According to conservative contrarian Ben Shapiro, Page did not file a police report. In Shapiro’s mind, this implies it didn’t happen. (The Daily Dot has not confirmed whether Page reported the alleged incident to the police or how Shapiro may have confirmed that.)
On Tuesday, the day Pageboy was released, Shapiro tweeted, “Wow, another supposed hate crime in public that ended with no police report! Shocking how often this happens when celebrities claim victimhood.”
Shapiro’s tweet prompted a flood of transphobia and misgendering, both of which have plagued Page since he came out. Many people separately accused the actor of lying.
“It’s so wild. This happened a year ago and we hear about it the same day Page’s book is released,” wrote @BarbaraCastor2.
Some of Shapiro’s followers inferred that Shapiro was alluding to actor Jussie Smollett, who staged a hate crime and was later convicted of lying to the police.
One person claimed that Page “learned from Jussie.”
Other conservatives piled onto Page and his story about being menaced by a stranger.
One called his story about the man threatening to beat him up “nonsense.”
Another said Page’s story becoming public was “convenient timing” coming at the onset of Pride Month.
“Leftist Media acts fast!” they added.
But plenty of other observers noted that whether Page filed a police report has no bearing on the veracity of his claim of being threatened by a stranger.
@ReverendAdam2 tweeted, “Do you think every antisemitic verbal attack gets reported to police? Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen all the time. Try having some empathy instead of constantly trying to wage culture wars for profit.”
In 2020, Pew Research Center reported that fewer than half of all crimes—roughly 40% of violent crimes and 33% of property crimes—were reported to police the previous year. According to the center, victims don’t report crimes for a variety of reasons, including believing that the police won’t or can’t do anything to help or that the incident wasn’t serious enough.