Teen says models of trans behavior can change children’s lives
As a young, gay person who grew up in Halifax, Hanley Smith, 18, always knew who Canadian actor Elliot Page was.
Especially since they come from exactly the same neighborhood.
“I was always super aware of who they were and what they were doing,” Hanley told CBC Kids News. “An adult, queer person [is] a magical thing to see yourself as a young and strange person. “
Now, they have something more in common.
Earlier this week, Oscar-nominated actor Elliot Page – best known for films like Juno and Beginningas well as the Netflix series Umbrella Academy – shared that he is transgender.
“I love being trans,” said Page in an Instagram post. “And I love that I’m gay. And the more I stay close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I prosper. “
Page also thanked other people in the trans community for inspiring him and said that his pronouns are he / they.
Page received a lot of support from others on social media, including Netflix and the Canadian queer songs Tegan and Sara.
What is ‘dead nomenclature’ and why is it harmful?
Page’s announcement sparked a conversation about “dead dating,” which refers to the use of a trans person’s previous name.
You may have noticed that CBC, along with other news platforms, made a conscious decision not to use Page’s previous name in its coverage.
This is partly because transgender people say that using the previous name can be harmful.
Hanley, who is transgender and not binary, said that hearing the dead nickname makes it difficult to leave your past.
Hanley Smith (they) is transgender and not binary. They are members of the board of the Youth Project, a non-profit organization for queer youth, based in Nova Scotia. (Image sent by Hanley Smith)
“Whenever I hear my nickname dead, I have a feeling that, oh yes, other people will never see me as the person I see myself, and that’s very difficult,” said Hanley.
They said the same applies to Page.
“People didn’t realize that, no, Page was never that person, that was just the title they received before they could meet.”
Nancy Waugh, managing editor for CBC Nova Scotia, said CBC’s choice to avoid using Elliot’s dead nickname is a matter of respect for Page and journalistic accuracy.
“In our journalistic standards and practices, we talk about our commitment to precision, fairness and balance,” she said. “Elliot Page is saying that this is the name by which he wants to be known, so this is a job of precision.”
How the Elliot Page ad affects trans children
Hanley said that for children struggling with their gender identity, seeing someone like Page can change their lives.
“When you are young and you hear about a queer person or a queer person, it really changes your life because it says there is something outside of what you have learned,” they said.
Hanley, who uses their pronouns, identifies himself as transgender and not binary, which means that they do not see their gender as purely masculine or feminine.
Non-binary people can see themselves as a mixture of the two, neither, or they can even see themselves within a third genre that they define.
Hanley said that the fact that Page came out with the pronouns both he and theirs was “handsome” and powerful “, because it also gives visibility to the idea of not being binary.
Online hate concerns
But Hanley said Page’s ad is “a mixture of pride and concern” because they know how much hatred trans people get online and Hanley said hatred “is already happening”.
Hanley said this is what makes Page especially brave.
“They put not only their identity and personality at stake, but also their job, their security and their chances of getting new roles,” said Hanley.
With CBC News files