Nova Scotia’s transgender community applauds Elliot Page’s Time magazine cover
The transgender community of Nova Scotia collectively beams with pride that Elliot Page appears on the cover of Time magazine.
The Halifax-born actor, director and activist is now the second transgender person to make the cover of the publication. Laverne Cox was the first in 2014.
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âI’m really proud of Elliot. I’m proud he’s from our part of the world, âsaid Jay Aaron Roy, a transgender man and small business owner in Lower Sackville.
âI think it gives our young people, and the young people who visit this store, something really cool that anchors them. And that gives them more confidence. “
Like many people in the LGBTQ2 community, Roy strives every day to make his small business, Cape and Cowl Comics and Collectibles, an inclusive and safe space for all who walk through the doors.
This sense of inclusiveness is something he yearned for when he was younger and struggled to find transgender role models and portrayal in his daily life.
It’s a void, he says, that might have been filled had he seen a transgender man like Page on the cover of a magazine that reaches a global audience.
âIt touched me a lot today, but it would be such a huge thing for me 10 years ago because 10 years ago I was looking for a reflection of myself,â Roy said.
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This sentiment is shared by Margot Durling, a queer trans, non-binary artist who is the visionary behind a permanent art installation – Chosen Family – on the Halifax Common.
The installation showcases the deconstruction of traditional gender stereotypes and symbols that can often be significant barriers transgender people face along their journey to acceptance and self-fulfillment.
âI haven’t seen that kind of trans visibility grow,â they said.
“So this kind of sent this message to people like me that who you are is not right and if you have those feelings you just have to push them away and continue regardless of what gender you were given to. birth, in which case it was not my gender.
Durling firmly believes that having transgender people represented in communities around the world can help pave the way for young people who strive to connect with themselves.
âOur generation is very different. We now have the language, the resources and the community to support transgender children as they go through this experience, âsaid Durling.
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Durling says the first time they heard of the term âtransgenderâ was in their twenties. Now they say there are many more opportunities for young people to connect with the transgender community through public performance like Page on the cover of Time magazine.
“If you are a parent and you have a child who expresses these things, celebrate them and tell them everything is fine, and encourage them to explore this because if you don’t, then they will have the idea that who they are is wrong and it can have such a devastating impact on a person, âDurling said.
Page’s article also highlights the disproportionate amount of violence and discrimination faced by the trans community, particularly black and trans women of color.
âIn Nova Scotia we like to say that we don’t have transphobia, racism or homophobia here, but we do, we sure do,â said Chris Cochrane, a trans woman and drag performer.
âAnd, to have someone like Elliot who’s so open, so open, and from that community – it shows that we’re here to make sure people know we’re like everyone else. We want the same rights as everyone.
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