Elliot Page made his first red-carpet appearance since coming out as transgender last year sporting a stylish black tuxedo to the Met Gala 2021 — adorned with a deeper meaning than first meets the eye.
As reported by Yahoo! Life, the actor’s seemingly simple look was actually quite special. The “Umbrella Academy” actor wore a green carnation on his suit lapel, a statement that symbolises queer love first popularised by poet and playwright Oscar Wilde who also wore the brightly coloured flowers on his apparel. Since, the green carnation has evolved into a symbol for for queer and gay men, being as it “embodied the decadent and the unnatural,” according to Oscar Wilde Tours.
The flower became a queer symbol in 1892 specifically, “when Oscar Wilde instructed a handful of his friends to wear them on their lapels to the opening night of his comedy Lady Windermere’s Fan,” LGBTQ+ historian Sarah Prager explained in an article for JSTOR. “From then on, wearing a green carnation on your lapel was a secret, subtle hint that you were a man who loved other men.”
Page felt it was important to acknowledge this aspect of his identity in his first public appearance since coming out.
“I just never recognized myself,” the actor told Time of his previous appearances. “For a long time I could not even look at a photo of myself.”
He also added that while there are “crushing standards” regarding who is best dressed on the red-carpet, they “serve no one.”
“There are pervasive stereotypes about masculinity and femininity that define how we’re all supposed to act, dress and speak,” he said.
At the Met Gala, Page looked handsome as ever —and, more importantly, happy.
“Elliot Page’s look may be simple, but that smile says it all,” one fan noted. “He is so happy to be himself!”