Elliot Page on LGBTQ Cinema: ‘I’m Sorry, but This Is Not Niche’

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In a powerful statement at the BFI Flare Festival, actor Elliot Page challenged the prevailing notion that queer films cater only to a limited audience. With conviction, Page declared, “30% of young people identify as LGBTQ,” citing a recent survey focused on Gen Z adults in the United States. His resounding message: This is not niche.

Page, who graced the European premiere of his latest feature film, “Close to You,” at the BFI Flare opening night, emphasized the need to recognize the broad appeal of LGBTQ cinema. The film, directed by Dominic Savage, delves into the complexities of human connection. Page portrays a man who reunites with an old school friend, rekindling deep emotions during a journey to his family in small-town Canada. This poignant exploration also marks Page’s return home since his transition.

Beyond the screen, Page revealed his commitment to authenticity. For the first time, he worked with an intimacy coordinator on set, ensuring respectful handling of sensitive scenes. Reflecting on his own experiences, Page candidly shared, “I had an awful encounter with a much older man during a film I made at 16. How was someone not there for that? Vulnerability matters.”

Page’s openness extended to his personal life. He discussed coming out as trans to Steve Blackman, creator and showrunner of “The Umbrella Academy.” The revelation was seamlessly woven into the show’s storyline. “Steve was one of the first people I confided in,” Page recounted. “We collaborated on how to approach it—emotionally charged yet devoid of unnecessary drama.”

As a working actor and filmmaker under his Page Boy Productions banner, Page acknowledged his privilege. “I wish we had more trans actors,” he lamented. “But I feel fortunate to have persevered and continue creating.”

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