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TV Anchor Expertly Schools Two Transphobes Who Ask Why They Can't Deadname Elliot Page

TV Anchor Expertly Schools Two Transphobes Who Ask Why They Can't Deadname Elliot Page
Rising/The Hill

Olayemi Olurin, who anchors Rising, a daily news and opinion web series produced by The Hill, called out two politicial commentators for using Elliot Page's deadname on the program, an action she rather succintly explained is transphobic.

After the commentators, journalist and author Robby Soave and radio host Kim Iverson, questioned why they weren’t “allowed” to deadname Page in a public forum, Olurin shared footage of their remarks with her Twitter followers.

Soave and Iverson also complained being expected to call Page what he wants to be called is confusing, akin to pretending the years he presented as female "didn't exist."

Olurin noted referring to Page "or any other trans person by their dead names" is wrong, adding it does not cost anyone "anything to simply respect people's personhoods and call them the name they tell us to."

Deadnaming is the act of referring to a transgender or non-binary person by a name they used prior to transitioning, such as their birth name. Deadnaming may be accidental, or an intentional attempt to deny, mock or invalidate a person's identity.

Like misgendering, deadnaming can be a form of overt aggression or a microaggression, indicating the target is not fully accepted as a member of society. Transgender activists have opposed the deadnaming of homicide victims and high-profile celebrities in media, saying it violates an individual's right to privacy while contributing to transphobia.

Many concurred with Olurin's assessment and applauded her for speaking out.

Page, the Oscar-nominated actor of Juno who currently stars as Viktor Hargeeves on Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, came out as transgender in December 2020. A few months later, he gave a widely publicized interview to Time, becoming the first openly trans man to appear on the cover of the magazine.

During the interview, Page identified himself as queer and nonbinary (his pronouns are he/they). He recalled that he had "felt like a boy" as early as age nine, he "wanted to be a boy. I would ask my mom if I could be someday."

Page is also an activist, regularly aligning himself with LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights causes.