Diegesis CUT TO [conflict]

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challenging the status quo LGBT identities have historically been sidelined in cultural representation. Can Ellen Page change that?

Alice Stansfield •


don’t really know what kinda girl I am”. The remark made by Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page) in the offbeat comedy Juno (2007) captures the ongoing difficulties women face in terms of media representation and the pressure it puts on its female audience members. However, this does not just affect women. The quote highlights social tension and issues to do with conformity as a result of the difficulty of understanding where we all fit within society. Mainstream Hollywood films present an expected “norm”. Page herself has described this as “pervasive stereotypes… that define how we are all supposed to act, dress and speak and they serve no-one. Anyone who defies these socalled norms becomes the subject of comment

52 Diegesis: CUT TO [conflict]

and scrutiny and the LGBT community knows this all too well”. On Valentine’s Day 2014, Page called Hollywood out on their double standards for the representation of sexuality at the Human Rights Campaign’s “THRIVE” conference for LGBTQ people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning). She referred to Hollywood as “an industry that places crushing standards on all of us…You hear things like, ‘People shouldn’t know about your life because you’re creating an illusion on screen’. But I don’t see other actresses going to great lengths to hide their heterosexuality”. Any sexuality other than heterosexuality becomes marginalised and pressure is wrongly placed on individuals to admit their sexual preferences.

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