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When Academy Award-nominated actor Ellen Page came out as gay at the Time To Thrive conference in February she singled out football player Michael Sam, Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox and musicians Tegan and Sara Quin for their courage as high-profile "out" citizens.
Page's notable mention wasn't lost on the pair and they spoke to George about it when they recorded an intimate Strombo Home Sessions performance and interview.
GS: It’s not insignificant that when Ellen Page had her coming out statement, you guys got namechecked. That’s not insignificant. Did you know that was coming?
TQ: No. We interact with a lot of artists of different types, like, you know, actors, musicians, even people that we’re friends with that work in regular jobs, like, not entertainment, weird, "everybody's looking at you" jobs… We know lots of people who are struggling with how to come out, do I come out, what’s mine, what’s private, what's public? We’re quite aware of a lot of these people's struggles and have certainly been there to listen to and sort of nurture this idea that you can come out and it’s okay.
With Ellen I think what she did is incredibly brave, but I also think it will make her a happier person, which is really great. But what it told a whole generation of young people is that it’s okay to be out. I thinks she’s beautiful, and she’s played all these amazing roles, and it didn’t change, I don't think, her value in this sort of industry. I think it was a really good cultural moment, for sure. And I love that she namechecked us. It’s awesome.
Sara then explained what it was like when they were coming out early on in their career.
SQ: I’ve been thinking a lot about this, 'cause when we first started playing music, it just happened to be at the exact same time we like… 18, 19 years old and we were coming out. So to me, I couldn’t delineate between, "Well we’ll come out and tell all of our friends and family" and "Jeez, we’re starting this new job and I’m not gonna come out to them…" It was just happening at the same time and there was no instinct to protect ourselves. We were so excited to be able to tell people that we were gay."
Tegan And Sara will perform a special mini-concert from George's house which you can watch Thurday, April 10, 2014 on CBC at 11:30 pm.