Elliot Page says the film But I’m a Cheerleader helped him overcome loneliness, shame and self-hatred.
The Umbrella Academy star was honored with Outfest’s Achievement Award on Sunday and in his acceptance speech spoke about the importance of representation, especially while growing up, according to Variety.
“I for one know that without the various representation that I was able to stumble upon as a kid and a teenager — there was very little — I just don’t know if I would have made it,” Page said. “I don’t know if I would have made it through the moments of isolation and loneliness and shame and self-hatred that was so extreme and powerful and all-encompassing that you could hardly see out of it.”
“And then, you know, at 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on But I’m a Cheerleader and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life,” he continued, referencing the 1999 satirical rom-com starring Natasha Lyonne as a high school teenager whose parents send her to conversation camp after suspecting she’s gay.
“I almost think we don’t talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for,” the Oscar nominee shared.
“It’s [Outfest] and organizations like yourself that are completely changing that. And helping get stories out in the world that I know are reaching people in moments where they feel desperately alone and afraid and like they have no sense of community. And it offers somebody a lifeline,” Page added. “And I know that representation has done that for me.”
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