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Elliot Page cites the 1999 film But I'm a Cheerleader for informing his identity when he was growing up.
The actor was honoured with the Achievement Award at the LGBTQ film festival Outfest, where he made his acceptance speech via video at the festival's closing night gala on Sunday.
During the speech, he praised the festival for providing "an incalculable amount of positive change and transformation in this world" and emphasised the importance of creating spaces where marginalised voices can be heard.
The 34-year-old mused about the representation he saw on screen growing up and said that while it was limited, "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."
Specifically, the Juno star recalled stumbling upon the 1999 hit But I'm a Cheerleader when he was 15. The film, which stars Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall, follows the story of a teen girl who is sent to conversion therapy due to her attraction to women only to fall in love with another student at the practice.
Page continued, praising the organisation for advancing LGBTQ stories that go beyond the representation he grew up with, "I almost think we don't talk enough about how important representation is, enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for... I can only hope that with the incredible honour and privilege I have, being in a space where I can create stories, to continue down that path and offer visibility that I didn't really get as a youngster."
Page, who is currently on set in Toronto, has not made any major in-person appearances since coming out as transgender in December.