Ellen Page Proves Lesbians Can Be Hollywood Elite, But How Did She Do It?

Ellen Page will forever be immortalized as the pregnant teenager she played in the 2007 film Juno. The movie was as big for the sharp comedic wit of Diablo Cody as it was for the controversial subject matter. Could we really find teen pregnancy funny even if it was coming from the mouth of an actress like Page? Or was Ellen the reason we liked hearing it so much?

LGBT magazine giant The Advocate ran a headline last month proclaiming Ellen “This Generation’s Gay A-Lister.” The magazine may have a point. Nearly every other major gay star is either nearing 40 or lives almost entirely in television. Neil Patrick Harris? Now 41 years old. Ellen Degeneres? 56. MTV’s popular series Teen Wolf had unleashed a few new-generation gay actors into the public, but it’s hard to imagine anyone who isn’t a fan of the show really knowing who any of them are by name recognition alone.

But Ellen herself didn’t come out right away. After years of critical accolades in films like Hard Candy and roles in major blockbusters like Inception, Page finally came out earlier this year at the Human Rights Campaign’s Time to THRIVE conference on Valentine’s Day. Ellen’s decision came nearly a decade after her initial rise to stardom started, following years of paralyzing fear of coming out of the closet, reported The Inquisitr.

“I am tired of hiding and I am tired of lying by omission. I suffered for years because I was scared to be out. My spirit suffered, my mental health suffered, and my relationships suffered. And I’m standing here today, with all of you, on the other side of all that pain. I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.”

One possibility for the delay of Page’s coming out is a lack of role models for such women in the “out celebrities” department. In fact, it often seems that straight celebrities have more luck donning the aura of gayness to gain recognition than gay actors themselves. Jared Leto won an Oscar for portraying a transgender character in Dallas Buyer’s Club this year, only a few years after Sean Penn won for playing gay rights icon Harvey Milk. It begs the question, would Ellen be the actress she is today if she had been upfront about her sexuality from day one?

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Ellen Page is set to to star with Julianne Moore and Steve Carrell in LGBT rights film Freeheld based on the documentary below, according to Indiewire.

[Image via Cinema Blend]