To Elliot

Reflecting on Elliot Page and my own experiences with Coming Out


Graphic by Kripa Mayureshwar

Anika Sharma

 I first heard about Elliot Page coming out as non-binary and using he/they pronouns through TikTok from an article titled “The Umbrella Academy’s Elliot Page announces He is Transgender” with a person dancing underneath expressing how proud they were of him. After that, every other TikTok I happened to scroll upon was about Elliot Page. At first, I didn’t give much thought about it until I decided I wanted to publish a story about it. It was only after I messaged my editor telling her I wanted to write about how Elliot Page came out that it really hit me.

Page first came out as non-binary/trans in a letter on his Twitter account and reading it over for about the fifth time, I see so much of what I felt when I came out as non-binary, using they/them pronouns. Similar to Page, I’m not heterosexual, and I told my friends about it this year in November. His coming out experience also paralleled mine because we both came out online in late 2020. I remember sending out the individual messages and although I attempted to focus on homework I soon found myself clutching my phone with my knees pressed up against my chest and my face only a few inches from the screen. 

Looking back, I don’t know why I was nervous because everyone ended up being so accepting and positive, especially since I’d already come out to them once about being non-binary. 

It was in mid-2019, and at the time, I was much more afraid. I was coming out as non-binary. Every time I tried to tell someone, the words would get caught in my throat, and I’d have to force myself to speak and practically vomit out the words. A few of my teachers knew, and so did my best friend, but that was the full extent of it. Because all of my friends were in MVHS Color Guard, that’s where I started officially coming out. 

I told my coaches at Color Guard first, starting with Randy, the youngest of the five coaches. The day I told him was a competition day, and while we were setting up, I went to get my flag from my bag which was only a few feet from where he was standing. As I was opening my bag, I looked up at him. 

“Hey, Randy.” 


“I-I’m non-binary.”

“OK, thanks for telling me.”

The interaction was fairly short, but at the time, I thought I was going to cry. I remember thinking I was going to throw up as I was told him. Trying to get the words out was like coughing up a rock. But after I confided in him, I couldn’t do anything else at that point. It was an out of body experience and I felt like I was an outside spectator with no control over the situation. In the seconds before he responded, my heart was beating out my chest and I had already constructed hundreds of worst-case scenarios in my head. 

Honestly, looking back, it was a rash decision. I don’t regret it by any means, but I don’t think my timing was perfect. I didn’t plan on coming out that day. I didn’t even know what I was going to say. My emotions took hold of me and I did it without even considering if it was a good time to do so. 

That’s another reason why Page coming out is so striking to me. Re-reading his letter, it’s clear to me that they were more than ready to come out. He was so confident and sure of himself to the point that after coming out, he was immediately ready to fight for other trans and queer people. At the same time, I can see so much of the same worry I felt. I think it’s common for coming out to be absolutely petrifying, especially if you’re using a large platform to do so.

Whenever I came out, it was never as planned. I was always flustered and on edge whenever I would tell someone. That’s especially true of when I told the rest of the Color Guard. 

After an average practice, our captains brought us into a circle to have a word with the team. I vaguely remember that the talk was about how school was starting to become more stressful and how Color Guard was our support system. After they had finished their speech, they asked if there was anything anyone wanted to say. There was about 20 seconds of awkward silence before the words “I’m non-binary” filled the space. My mind goes blank with what happened after. But I do remember I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day. 

Even as I retell these stories I don’t feel the anxiety, I only feel the joy. Looking back I’m thankful that I did decide to come out in the way I did, even if it wasn’t in the most ideal way. 

There are many universal truths to coming out, yet no two stories are the same. There’s so much about Page’s story that gives me hope, from how quickly their name and pronouns were updated on Netflix, Wikipedia and Google, to the way they were celebrated for the whole day. For me, the most inspiring part is how they had the courage to write that letter and share it in the first place. 

So to Elliot: If you’re reading this, I know you’ve probably heard this a million times and you’re going to hear it a million more, but it’s worth saying again: “Thank you, and I’m so proud of you.”