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Arts and Entertainment

Ellen Page Says Keeping Her Lesbian Relationships A Secret Was 'Awful And Hurtful'

Ellen Page at the premiere of her film "The East." (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
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When Ellen Page came out on Valentine's Day, she did it with a bang—by giving a heartfelt speech at a Human Rights Campaign conference in Las Vegas. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter (one of her first interviews since her announcement), she candidly talked about how Dan Savage's words helped push her to come out, how the majority of the industry knew about her sexuality and how life has been for her since then.

The 27-year-old actress, who will soon be on the big screen as Kitty Pryde for X-Men: Days of Future Past when it's released on May 23, talked about how she battled depression for years, saying she felt "very sad, isolated, a lot of anxiety." Even when she was 14 or 15 when she first seriously started questioning if she was gay, she was teased by classmates for being a tomboy and a "dyke," she said, because she played competitive soccer.

Page reflected on how during her career, she had to keep two same-sex relationships a secret and how it was painful, commenting on the "neuroses of keeping it quiet and always thinking about it and thinking about when you're staying in the hotel and when you're leaving the hotel. It's so awful and hurtful."

But in 2008, she addressed gay rumors with an SNL sketch where she played a character who came out to her boyfriend at a Melissa Etheridge concert.

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It wasn't until she was 24 when she was sure that she was a lesbian and stopped having sex with men. As she grew more confident of this fact, by the end of 2013 she felt that about 80 percent of her industry knew about her sexual orientation. "I would talk about being gay, make jokes about it, or go to a meeting and [mention it]—you know, because I'm also producing and starring in a lesbian civil rights movie and I've been working on it for years," she said.

She added that Dan Savage was one of the driving forces behind her coming out to the public when she saw him on Canadian talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight in July 2013:

Savage, the in-your-face columnist behind the "It Gets Better" campaign, laid out his argument for coming out in very plain terms. "He was like, 'It's a social responsibility and a moral imperative,' " recalls Page. "And I was like, 'You're right. You're really intense—but you're right.' "

Since coming out, she says she gets to wear men's suits and neckties without get challenged by stylists. "I get more hate, honestly, about dressing androgynously than about being gay," Page said. "It blows my mind."

And working closely with X-Men director Bryan Singer, she said that the allegations that he sexually assaulted male minors is "super, super disturbing."

You can read the entire The Hollywood Reporter interview here.

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