Ellen Page, 27, covers the June 2014 issue of Flare magazine
, in which she opens up about recently coming out as a gay woman
at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's inaugural Time to Thrive conference in February.
"I was very nervous. I was very nervous, yes. ... I was emotional, deeply, deeply emotional," Ellen says about the headline-making moment.
As for why it was important for her to come out publicly, the Juno star says it was the desire to stop hiding.
"The more time went by, the more something just happened, and, Oh my god -- I want to love someone freely and walk down the street and hold my girlfriend's hand."
Though Ellen actually came out to her parents at age 19, she explains why it took her longer to come out publicly.
"You think you're in a place where you're all, 'I'm thrilled to be gay, I have no issues about being gay anymore, I don't feel shame about being gay,' but you actually do. You're just not fully aware of it," she explains. "I think I still felt scared about people knowing. I felt awkward around gay people; I felt guilty for not being myself."
One surprising perk about coming out?
Being able to wear whatever she wants.
It's safe to say that Ellen won't have to wear any more dresses anytime soon.
"I felt happy and confident and the difference was huge," says Ellen, who's clad in a black blazer and a simple black bra top for the magazine's cover. "… I feel more creatively inspired than I have in years. And I'm sure it has to do with a lot of bricks being taken out of the backpack."