Actress Ellen Page is speaking out about trans rights and transphobia, saying people need to educate themselves and “step up.”
In an interview for the latest issue of Gay Times magazine, Page spoke about the anti-trans laws in the United States and growing transphobic rhetoric in the U.K. While acceptance for LGB people has been generally growing for years, trans rights are frequently put up for debate, and Page believes that the LGBTQ community needs to be reminded of that fact. “We need to realize that a lot of the most marginalized people in our community have been left behind. We need to step up for trans people because they’re under attack,” said Page.
She emphasized that it’s not just conservatives who are bad on trans issues. “I deal with a lot of progressive people, powerful people, who have said ridiculous s**t to me,” said Page.
Her comments are partially a response to a column written by lesbian tennis player Martina Navratilova, who argued that trans women should not be allowed to compete with cisgender women. Navratilova wrote that allowing trans women to compete, even when their bodies have been changed by hormone therapy is “insane and it’s cheating.” She also complained about being labeled a transphobe and called such labels “another form of tyranny.”
Page responded in the interview, saying, “In regards to those conversations in the U.K., and the treatment and attack on trans rights in the U.S., it’s utterly cruel.”
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Page said the same arguments the people make against trans people today were previously used against lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. “It’s not like people didn’t use the same arguments for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but people are also using that rhetoric to make trans people seem like predators,” said Page. “It’s demonizing and dehumanizing. It’s deplorable.”