Elliot Page is discussing how “But I’m A Cheerleader” helped him through being a young LGBTQ+ person.

On Sunday, Page received Outfest’s Achievement Award virtually from Toronto where he looked back about how he wouldn’t be who he is today if it wasn’t thanks to “the various representation” he was able to find, even if “there was very little.”

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“I don’t know if I would have made it through the moments of isolation and loneliness and shame and self-hatred that was so extreme and powerful and all-encompassing that you could hardly see out of it,” he said.

“And then, you know, at 15, when you are flipping through the channels and you stumble on ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’ and the dialogue in that film, and scenes in that film just transform your life,” he continued. “I almost think we don’t talk enough about how important representation is and enough about how many lives it saves and how many futures it allows for.”

The 1999 comedy stars Natasha Lyonne as a high school student sent to a gay conversion programme by her parents.

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Complimenting Outfest, Page praised the festival for “helping get stories out in the world that I know are reaching people in moments where they feel desperately alone and afraid and like they have no sense of community.”

He added, “And it offers somebody a lifeline. And I know that representation has done that for me.”