Ian McKellen, one of Hollywood's most prominent LGBTQ stars, has praised Elliot Page for coming out as transgender.
Last month, the 33-year-old star of The Umbrella Academy posted a moving message in which they revealed they were trans and were using male pronouns (he/him/his) and the gender-neutral pronouns they/them.
Ian, who worked with Elliot on 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, told Attitude magazine Elliot's coming out will be a huge personal boost for the actor, who is also known for roles in Juno, Whip It and Inception.
"Everything gets better [when you come out] because you get self-confidence," Ian said. "So you get better in terms of relationships, friends of all sorts, family, if you're lucky. And in my case, I think in every case, your acting is bound to change and improve."
The 81-year-old also detailed an interaction he had with Elliot on the X-Men: The Last Stand set, when Elliot was just a teenager. He said he wished he'd handled it differently now that he has a bit more understanding what Elliot may have been going through at the time.
"I remember Elliot Page... sat as close as we are now," he told Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey in the interview. "And I had to speak when they'd finished, and I couldn't hear what they were saying. Nobody could hear what they were saying.
"So I said, 'Look, if you can't speak up, would you mind when you're finished speaking, just dropping your hand so I know when you've finished speaking?'
"And then they came out [as gay] years later, and suddenly you couldn't stop them talking. You heard everything.
"And now... they're Elliot. And I'm so happy for Elliot. And so disappointed in myself that I didn't detect what their difficulty was with communicating."
Ian came out as gay in 1988, when it was still extremely difficult – if not unheard of – for prominent stars to do so. In 2012, he told Anderson Cooper about how coming out had improved his life, and said he had "never met a gay person who regretted coming out." You can watch part of that interview above.
We're also very proud of Elliot and happy to see Ian's comments, since trans people need strong supports and allies, especially from the gay community.