In an interview set to air May 27 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen Page tells DeGeneres – who share a name and, now, the experience of being beloved entertainers who came out as lesbians, 17 years apart – that she felt an immediate weight lifted after her February announcement.
"I knew I would be a happier person," says the X-Men: Days of Future Past star, 27. "I did not anticipate just how happy I would feel in every aspect of my life. Just an ease and a comfort. And it's really been quite extraordinary to feel just the shift. It was pretty much overnight, too."
Page also thanked DeGeneres, 56, for blazing the trail with her own coming out in 1997.
"It was a combination of just such thrill to finally be at that place in my life where I was able to do that, and grateful to have that moment – and grateful to you because you did it at a time where it was much harder and much scarier," Page says.
Hiding her sexual orientation had become draining and isolating, Page adds.
"It's toxic," she says. "I was carrying a tremendous amount of shame and guilt for not being out, and I felt isolated from the LGBT community. And now I don't."
DeGeneres remarks that Page just seems more relaxed. "There's something about just not having to worry about somebody catching you in a lie," DeGeneres says. "I know what that's like when you're on a show and you just feel like you're waiting for someone to go, 'You're gay! I know you are!' "
Page agrees, and says she feels more connected to everyone in her life.
"It's so nice to be at work and talk about an ex or, you know, get to wear what you want and not have a conversation about it," she says. "It's so nice to have people come up to me and tell me their story or, you know, say, 'Hey, I'm closeted. Can you give me advice?' Those are really beautiful moments to get to share with people."