Ellen Page Discusses Freeheld and Why Coming Out Is “Not That Simple” For Many People

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Ellen Page has spoken before about her upcoming role in Freeheld and how playing a role that better lines up with her own sexual identity felt refreshing to her; however, when asked whether Freeheld might inspire more people to come out of the closet, Page had a few words to share:

I’ve never experienced what Laurel did [in Freeheld], but it’s not that simple. It could be general bullying in the office, to getting fired – there are many states in America where you can be fired for being gay or trans or bi … There are countries in the world where there are no anti-discrimination laws for people at all, and what is someone gonna do if they can’t get a job because they’re gay? Every situation is different and personal. Some people can come out and face horrific violence.

Freeheld tells a true story about two women who did face institutional obstacles and punishment because of their relationship; it would be easier for the media (and movie-goers) to write off this film’s events as documenting a battle that’s already won. But that isn’t accurate. Freeheld takes place in the mid-2000s, and the struggles that the women face in the film are still not so unusual, even a decade later.

I’ve appreciated that Page has continued to use press opportunities surrounding Freeheld to highlight that this is an ongoing struggle in our country and elsewhere, rather than framing the film as a feel-good story of neat, conclusive victory. The reality is more complicated than that.

(via Hollywood Reporter, image via Young Minds Advocacy)

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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).