Elliot Page Recalls ‘Self-Disgust’ While Being Bullied Amid Gender Dysphoria

The 36-year-old actor says he didn't really know what a transgender person was growing up.

Elliot Page is opening up about what life felt like in his skin prior to his transition. The 36-year-old Umbrella Academy actor is candid about his gender dysphoria in a new interview with ABC News. 

"My body started to change and clothes sat on me differently, and all of that just was, really was the beginning of really sort of disconnecting from myself and feeling a degree of discomfort that was very erosive and damaging," Page shares in a sneak peek clip of the sit-down that was shared by Good Morning America.

Page says that as a child, he was not aware of the term transgender, saying that if it did come up, it was often a topic mocked by his peers in health class.

"The experiences I had in regards to bullying only encourages the shame that literally makes you sick," Page explains. "The hiding, the self-disgust, the 'I'm wrong, there's something wrong with me,' that narrative."

Page touched on the topic of "gender dysphoria," which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as "the feeling of discomfort or distress that might occur in people whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth or sex-related physical characteristics."

This feeling only led him to further "incongruence and disconnect" growing up, which Page says was exacerbated by his role as an actor.

"It especially became complicated as an actor because people would just go, 'You're an actor, just put on the f**king clothes,'" he says. "But needless to say, it was so much more than that."

Page came out as a transgender man in December 2020, and is opening up about his experience in his new memoir, Pageboy, which will hit shelves on June 6.

The Juno star is speaking out to ABC News as part of their month-long Pride Month coverage for the Soul of a Nation series. The interview, conducted by RuPauls Drag Race winner Sasha Colby is part of The Freedom to Exist special, which will also include interviews with actresses Angelica Ross and Nicole Maines, among others.

Page's full interview, The Freedom to Exist With Elliot Page — A Soul of a Nation Presentation, airs Tuesday, June 6 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC and will be available to stream June 7 on Hulu.