cnn– Elliot Page has become the first transgender man ever to appear on the cover of Time, as the Canadian actor opened up about his decision to come out last year.
The 34-year-old, whose movie credits include “Inception” and two installments the “X-Men” franchise, will appear on the front of the magazine’s forthcoming issue under the headline, “I’m fully who I am.”
It is Page’s first major interview since publicly disclosing his gender identity in December. Speaking to Time reporter Katy Steinmetz, he described the mixed reaction to the announcement, made via Instagram, in which he revealed his pronouns as “he” and “they.”
“What I was anticipating was a lot of support and love and a massive amount of hatred and transphobia,” Page is quoted as saying. “That’s essentially what happened.”
The actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for his role in 2008’s “Juno,” also discussed his childhood, saying that he “felt like a boy” from a young age. He recalled the “feeling of triumph” at being allowed to cut his hair short aged 9.
Page, who previously came out as gay in 2014, also spoke about undergoing top surgery, a move he described as having “completely transformed my life.” He goes on to discuss the struggle for trans equality, as well as the entertainment industry’s “crushing standards” and “pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity.”
“Extremely influential people are spreading these myths and damaging rhetoric — every day you’re seeing our existence debated,” he said in the interview. “Transgender people are so very real.”
The cover was shot by trans photographer Wynne Neill, who posted the cover image to Instagram on Tuesday, describing it as a “dream assignment.”
“I have been wanting this and working towards this for so many years,” Neill wrote in the caption. “I’m so proud of Elliot and I am so grateful to the trans elders who risked everything to make this moment happen.”
Page also posted the cover to Instagram, writing: “With deep respect for those who came before me, gratitude for those who have supported me and great concern for the generation of trans youth we must all protect, please join me and decry anti-trans legislation, hate and discrimination in all its forms.”