Did Ellen Page Come Out in This SNL Sketch From 2008?


Ellen Page, who came out as gay yesterday, has been a lightning rod of conversation on the internet since her annuncement. Many are supportive (you go, Jez commenters!), some took to Twitter to express their shock, dismay, and disgust (click link to tweets at your own risk!), and some asked the question “didn’t Ellen Page already come out on SNL in 2008?”

The clip in question, filmed during Page’s stint hosting the show, has Page portraying a woman returning home from her first Melissa Etheridge concert and suddenly realizing that she may be gay. Or rather, that she’s “an oil lamp that’s never been lit” who wants to “hug a woman with her legs in friendship.” While the sketch definitely engages in stereotypes, the point it is trying to make appears to be about support, and freedom, and the uselessness of labels in the face of an entire arena singing “Closer To Fine” together. And while it is definitely problematic to use terms such as “going gay” (Why, SNL? Why?) the overall theme is acceptance.

I don’t agree that Page is coming out in this clip (after all, she is playing someone else), but I do think that the message the sketch sends is in line with what Page stated during her speech, namely that one needs to be able to be who they are and to be able to love themselves without hiding their identity. As someone who loved SNL as a teenager, it would have been great to see this type of message more as I was going through my own coming-out process. (Thank god for Tori Amos, though.)

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