Ellen Page Says We Need LGBT Representation In Media

March 14th 2016

Laura Donovan

Actress Ellen Page opened up about the legitimate need for LGBT representation in pop culture during a South by Southwest (SXSW) event over the weekend.

Page, who came out in 2014, is currently hosting "Gaycation" on Viceland, a show she says she created in hopes of increasing LGBT visibility in TV and beyond.

Ellen Page

“It really was about wanting more representation, because I knew how much it meant to me at 14 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to be stumbling through the TV and find [the movie] "But I’m a Cheerleader," and Natasha Lyonne’s like ‘I don’t get it’ about French kissing a guy, and I’m like ‘neither do I!’ And that meant something to me,” she said, as reported by Variety.

She added that though she is "privileged" as a lesbian in a progressive city like Los Angeles, she knows the "loneliness and isolation" of being seen as different.

"There can be such loneliness and isolation when you’re growing up in a society that does infuse this idea in you that you’re different or something’s wrong or you’re sinful or what have you," she continued. "I think a lot about those that are more vulnerable than me around the world and in the United States. Here’s an opportunity to go make something that allows voices to be heard that you don’t ever get to hear.”

Ellen Page

As part of "Gaycation," Page and co-host Ian Daniel interviewed a variety of people about their views on the LGBT community, including a hitman in Brazil who claimed to have killed gay people. During the panel, Page said that coming out allowed her to embrace her identity and pursue projects like "Gaycation."

“If I was still closeted I wouldn’t be making this show, and let’s think about how much that limits people, or limits people of all minorities who are not given opportunities to create work,” Page said at SXSW. “We do a job that’s about telling stories — obviously it’s becoming clear that we can’t just be telling stories about one group of people. People need to have opportunity; that’s what’s going to make the whole industry grow and blossom."

Over the summer, Page famously confronted Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz at the Iowa State Fair as part of a "Gaycation" segment. At the time, Page said told Cruz that there's a lot of fear in the LGBT community about others using the bible as a justification for discriminating against them. Page added that it doesn't seem "very American to [her]" that some LGBT individuals are fired for being gay or trans.

"[Right now] we’re seeing Bible-believing Christians being persecuted for living according to their faith," Cruz said.

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