On Valentine’s Day, 2014, at the Human Rights Campaign’s “Time to Thrive” conference, Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page came out plainly, emphatically, and unapologetically, proclaiming,

“I’m here because I’m gay.”

Nearly six years later, the LGBTQIA+ icon is gracing the world with incredible openness and authenticity again. This time, Page is coming out in a heartfelt piece of writing. In an Instagram post he published this morning, he addresses fans casually as “friends” saying,

“I want to share that I am trans.”

Page explains that his pronouns are he/they and that they identify as both transgender and non-binary. A non-binary identity can mean many different things for different people, but the most basic element is that it exists outside of the gender/sex binary construct of “man/woman” or “male/female.”

Page’s announcement covers a lot of ground. He first expresses his gratitude for those in their life who have supported them in their journey to living authentically. He later beautifully articulates the fears and realities around proclaiming oneself a member of the transgender community and reminds readers to take responsibility for what they say, because the words we use, the jokes we tell, can genuinely impact the transgender community negatively. Page directly connects that hateful culture to the harmful decisions made by politicians and asserts “enough is enough.”

Finally, Page celebrates, writing,

“I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer.”

They offer their support and love to everyone else in the trans community.

This is one story that I cannot begin to express my excitement for, as a trans/non-binary writer, who also uses he/they pronouns, and who has a very similar name (wait a minute, am I actually a famous actor?! I’ll have to get back to you on that…),  I am inspired, validated, and moved by this visibility. If there’s one thing that gives hope to an oppressed community, it’s seeing other people who are just like you, living their lives and being themselves unapologetically. I am so blessed to be able to share this news with you and so very grateful to Elliot Page for his vulnerability and visibility.

If this concept is all new to you and you feel confused or have lots of questions, please don’t worry, we all have to start somewhere. The Human Rights Campaign’s sage advice is to

Always listen for and respect a person’s self-identified terminology.”

You can check out their glossary of terms here.  Going forward, let us all remember to respect Elliot’s new name, pronouns, and identity when discussing his past, current, and future achievements as a brilliant actor and celebrated activist.