The special meaning behind Elliot Page’s Met Gala red carpet

Elliot Page makes red carpet debut after coming out as transgender. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Elliot Page made his first red carpet appearance since coming out as transgender in December as he arrived at the 2021 Met Gala in a black suit with a green carnation.

Although the look seems understated, Page’s pop of green is a statement in itself as a symbol of queer love, originating from poet Oscar Wilde who often wore one on his own lapel.

The green carnation came to represent queer men as it “embodied the decadent and the unnatural,” according to Oscar Wilde Tours. For Page, the inclusion of such an homage was likely important after years of disconnect between his public image and true identity.

“I just never recognized myself,” Page told TIME of his prior appearances on red carpets and magazine spreads. “For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself.”

And while people are quick to make judgements on the best dressed on the carpet, Page also shared his stance on those “crushing standards” that he was subjected to for so long.

“There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we’re all supposed to act, dress and speak,” he told the publication. “And they serve no one.”

On the Met Gala stairs, Page looked content and free.

“That smile says it all,” one fan wrote on Twitter. “He is so happy to be himself!”

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