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Elliot Page, From Shame to Self-Acceptance, in Hollywood’s Glare

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PAGEBOY: A Memoir, by Elliot Page There’s a scene in the third season of Netflix’s hugely popular “The Umbrella Academy” where Elliot Page’s character, sporting a new, short haircut, walks up to the other members of the titular superhero team to suggest a plan.

There’s a derisive response from one of them: “Who elected you, Vanya?” Page glances around, slightly tentative. “It’s, uh, Viktor.” “Who’s Viktor?” The subtitles describe “dramatic music playing” as members of the group eye one another.

Page hesitates for a second. “I am. It’s who I’ve always been.” Another beat. “Uh, is that an issue for anyone?” There’s little hesitation: “Nah, I’m good with it.” “Yeah, me too.” “Cool.” And thus plays out what might be the most mundane — and yet quietly empowering — depiction of gender transition in popular culture I’ve ever seen.

Were Page’s real-life journey to transition only as simple, straightforward or well received. Instead, as he details in a brutally honest memoir, “Pageboy,” his life story was marked by fear, self-doubt, U-turns, guilt and shame, before he ultimately seized control of his own narrative.

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