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“Can I be a boy?”

A question asked by a six-year-old, born a girl, to their mother – without guile – rooted in an innocence that is devastating in its clear-eyed belief in a world that can simply make things right.

A world that does not unfortunately, and in any way, resemble the world we live in.

This candid and moving look firsthand at our world, as it exists, for this author and unquestionably the community they are born to, exposes society’s appalling treatment of diversity. Treatment that is harrowing as experienced at school, at work, at play, and amongst peers, but even more unbelievably nauseating when experienced in one’s own home.

As Elliot Page (a Canadian actor who achieved terrific success from a very young age) grows up lonely and “different” in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as a child of divorced parents, they are shunted back and forth between the households of their compassionate and earnest (though she has much to learn) mother, and that of their narcissistic father and his positively evil new wife.

“Shame had been drilled into my bones since I was my tiniest self.”

“Being made to feel inadequate, erroneous, and repulsive”, Elliot struggles with identity issues that run deep and are both frightening and confusing, – centering on both their emerging sexual orientation (queer) and their intrinsically misaligned gender (trans).

With candor that is both heartbreaking and generous, Elliot describes the trials, violence, hatred and discrimination that follows the path they have no choice but to follow, from early childhood on, as they search for their truth.

Taunted mercilessly in the press as a young teenager, Elliot, already a public figure in Canada after the wild success of their early movies, (the biggest of which was the sensational Juno) faces appalling disrespect, including stalking and bullying that would have been traumatic under any circumstances, but is positively hideous as they are forced to “come out in front of entire world”.

Required reading for any feeling person living in our current age, it’s impossible not to read this heart-felt memoir without the acknowledgment of the horrors of our social climate today, and the kaleidoscope of inhumanity, backwardness and subrogation of those suffering for the simple right to experience their own authenticity.

As Elliot learns to embrace his own truth, come into his own power, and leave his detractors (all of them, even those most detestably raw) behind, there is redemption, however painful. And the incredible bravery to share their story, amidst the (certainly less clear-eyed, now) hope that it will be heard.


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