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It begins with a handshake and a world-weary smile, and not long after she's reminiscing about the warm welcome that greeted her on the different already.'" PHOTOS: ' X-Men: Days of Future Past' Star Ellen Page-- Exclusive Portraits of the Actress Over the course of a wide-ranging two-hour conversation, Page gets fired up (about "binary gender systems," as well as discussion of her producing her first film), starry-eyed (at the thought of one day getting married and raising kids) and flat-out silly (about her addiction to renaming people's pets on Twitter).She also proves disarmingly open about her years-long battle with depression. "And obviously that's a very personal thing to say, but I say it to encourage whatever other people are feeling. No more." In 2014, as roadblocks to same-sex marriage topple throughout the country and such gay-friendly shows as proliferate, the prospect of another celebrity coming-out story might not seem all that remarkable.
She was born in 1987 in Halifax, Nova Scotia -- a picturesque Maritime province where the license plates read "Canada's Ocean Playground" -- and says she was "a total tomboy" from the time she could talk.It has been 17 years, after all, since Ellen De Generes declared, "Yep, I'm Gay," on the cover of -- a landmark moment for gay and lesbian visibility that, America tends to forget, was followed by the cancellation of her ABC sitcom and three years of industry radioactivity.Yet while many more since have followed suit, it's unprecedented for a celebrity at Page's level -- under 30, Oscar-nominated and still wielding the clout to get projects of a certain budget greenlighted -- to come out of the closet at all, much less make the unequivocal statement, "I'm gay." Robin Roberts, to offer one recent high-profile example, chose to do it by thanking her girlfriend in a Facebook post, while Jodie Foster said, well, just about everything the G-word during a speech at the 2013 Golden Globes that drew complaints for being needlessly opaque. "You have no idea how hard that moment is, even though they're not fully saying what you want them to say," she says, addressing Foster's critics."It's not about you." Page's declaration did not come entirely out of the blue.The viral response to it -- the You Tube video racked up 6 million views -- was like a mass exhalation of relief, as if a key puzzle piece to this endearing yet enigmatic star had at last clicked into place.But there's another way of looking at it: that Page's secret was what was holding her back all along and that she now is poised for a midcareer renaissance.
With , a lesbian drama she's been trying to get off the ground for nearly six years) and, perhaps most intriguingly, a potential studio action franchise on the horizon, there's certainly something about Ellen Page wafting through the air these days that wasn't before.
"She knew what she didn't want, which is a media tour.
She didn't want it to be the ' show I'm Gay story,'" explains Bush, who arranged for a consultation with her friend Chad Griffin, president of influential LGBT lobbying group the Human Rights Campaign.
But for all the peace it brings to Page's personal life, a large question mark still hangs over how the revelation might affect her professional standing.
In the years since , she never has had that type of success again, and there are more than a few people in Hollywood who will say privately that a label like "gay" affixed to any young actress will have an adverse effect on her career prospects.
I love being an actor, it's a huge part of my life, so I'm going to keep that private.' And, ' Oh, I have to keep it private because my job is about creating an illusion' and kind of all those bullshit excuses," she says.