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But there's another way of looking at it: that Page's secret was what was holding her back all along and that she now is poised for a midcareer renaissance.
With , a lesbian drama she's been trying to get off the ground for nearly six years) and, perhaps most intriguingly, a potential studio action franchise on the horizon, there's certainly something about Ellen Page wafting through the air these days that wasn't before.
Her parents divorced when she was a baby, and Page split her time between her schoolteacher mother, Martha, and her father, Dennis, a graphic artist who has designed Canadian postage stamps.
Dennis remarried when Page was 5, while Martha has remained single all of these years.
The next step was to call a meeting with her closest confidante, who also happens to be her main career strategist: manager-slash-bosom buddy Kelly Bush, who, as founder of ID Public Relations, is one of Hollywood's shrewdest image-wranglers.
The topic had been broached before, and each time, the 47-year-old Bush -- herself a lesbian, who raises two daughters with her wife, with whom she's been with for 18 years -- would lead her client down a winding road of what-ifs, and the conversation would end with Page feeling that the moment was not yet right. Page had the experience of two same-sex relationships that she'd painfully had to keep secret: a two-year romance that began shortly after 's premiere and a second, pricklier affair that played out after that.
"He was like, ' It's a social responsibility and a moral imperative,' " recalls Page. You're -- but you're right.' " By early fall, her mind was made up.It has been 17 years, after all, since Ellen De Generes declared, "Yep, I'm Gay," on the cover of -- a landmark moment for gay and lesbian visibility that, America tends to forget, was followed by the cancellation of her ABC sitcom and three years of industry radioactivity.Yet while many more since have followed suit, it's unprecedented for a celebrity at Page's level -- under 30, Oscar-nominated and still wielding the clout to get projects of a certain budget greenlighted -- to come out of the closet at all, much less make the unequivocal statement, "I'm gay." Robin Roberts, to offer one recent high-profile example, chose to do it by thanking her girlfriend in a Facebook post, while Jodie Foster said, well, just about everything the G-word during a speech at the 2013 Golden Globes that drew complaints for being needlessly opaque. "You have no idea how hard that moment is, even though they're not fully saying what you want them to say," she says, addressing Foster's critics. Just half a day earlier, the compact movie star (5-foot-1 in sneakers, and she's usually in them) who broke through playing a punk-rock-loving pregnant teen in 2007's character Kitty Pryde, whose powers allow her to pass through solid matter, Page had traversed the proverbial closet door as gracefully as if it never had been there at all. Thousands of congratulatory tweets, still pouring in, confirmed that yes, it had.