Elliot Page Recalls First Time in a Gay Bar Months Before 'Juno' Premiered

The reveal comes from an excerpt of the actor's upcoming memoir, 'Pageboy.'

Elliot Page is recalling a transformative moment. In an excerpt from his upcoming memoir, Pageboy, the 36-year-old actor discusses sharing a kiss with a woman in a gay bar, just months before Juno, the film that shot him into celebrity, was released. 

In the excerpt, which was obtained by People, Page writes about a woman named Paula, whom he met when he was 20.

"The sound of her voice radiated warmth, a kindness. It wasn't so much that her eyes lit up but that they found you. I could feel her looking," he writes. "We went to Reflections. It was the first time I had been to a gay bar and would be my last for a long time. I was a miserable flirter. Flirting when I didn’t mean to and not when I wanted to. We stood close, but not too close. The air so thick, I was swimming in it."

The experience, Page writes, "was new" for him, "being in a queer space and being present, enjoying it."

"Shame had been drilled into my bones since I was my tiniest self, and I struggled to rid my body of that old toxic and erosive marrow," he writes. "But there was a joy in the room, it lifted me, forced a reaction in the jaw, an uncontrolled, steady smile."

"Dancing, sweat dripping down my back, down my chest. I watched Paula's hair twist and bounce as she moved effortlessly, chaotic but controlled, sensual and strong," Page continues. "I would catch her looking at me, or was it the other way around? We wanted to be caught. Deer in the headlights. Startled, but not breaking."

Soon, Page asked Paula a question: "Can I kiss you?" 

"[I was] jolted by my boldness, as if it came from somewhere else, powered by the electronic music perhaps, a circuit of release, of demanding you leave your repression at the door," he writes. "And then I did. In a queer bar. In front of everyone around us."

The kiss helped Page "understand what all those poems were about, what all the fuss was."

"Everything was cold before, motionless, emotionless," he writes. "Any woman I had loved hadn't loved me back, and the one who maybe had, loved me the wrong way. But here I was, on a dance floor with a woman who wanted to kiss me and the antagonizing, cruel voice that flooded my head whenever I felt desire was silent."

"Maybe for a second, I could allow myself pleasure," Page continues. "We leaned in so our lips brushed, the tips of our tongues barely touching, testing, sending shocks through my limbs. We stared at each other, a quiet knowing."

At that moment, Page writes, he "was on the precipice" of "getting closer to my desires, my dreams, me, without the unbearable weight of the self-disgust I'd carried for so long."

"But a lot can change in a few months," he notes. "And in a few months, Juno would premiere."

Page, who came out as transgender in December 2020, tells the outlet that that particular section from his memoir, its first chapter, "just came out" of him.

"I didn't think I could write a book. Books, particularly memoirs, have really shifted my life, offered me inspiration, comfort, been humbling, all of those things," he says. "And I think this period of not just hate, of course, but misinformation or just blatant lies about LGTBQ+ lives, about our healthcare, it felt like the right time. Trans and queer stories are so often picked apart, or worse, universalized. So the first chapter of Pageboy, I just sat down, and it came out and I just didn't stop. I just kept writing."

While Page acknowledges that there were some "very difficult moments" in his journey, he says, that now, "I'm just me and grateful to be here and alive and taking one step at a time."

Page announced Pageboy, which will cover his relationship with his body and his experiences as one of the most famous trans people in the world, in December 2022.

"Trans people are facing increasing attacks, from physical violence to the banning of healthcare, and our humanity is regularly 'debated' in the media," he wrote on Instagram at the time. "The act of writing, reading, and sharing the multitude of our experiences is an important step in standing up to those who wish to silence and harm us. Books have helped me, saved me even, so I hope this can help someone feel less alone, feel seen, no matter who they are or what path they are on."

Pageboy will hit shelves June 6.