“I can’t begin to express how remarkable it feels to finally love who I am enough to pursue my authentic self,” Elliot said at the time.
“I love that I am trans,” they went on. “And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive.”
Recalling the time before they came out as gay in 2014, Elliot said there was “no way” they could go back to being “closeted.”
“Up until then I had pretty much never even touched someone outside who I was in love with,” they told Oprah. “Any kind of sensation of feeling that again… There was just no way I could do it.”
“It felt important and selfish for myself, and my own wellbeing, and my mental health,” they went on. “And also, with this platform I have — the privilege that I have — and knowing the pain and the difficulties and the struggles I have faced in my life, let alone what so many other people are facing… It absolutely felt crucial and important for me to share that.”
“I want to use the strength I have to help in all the ways that I can,” Elliot said.
“The rhetoric coming from anti-trans activists and anti-LGBTQ activists — it’s devastating,” he added later. “These bills are going to be responsible for the death of children.”
“I don’t want it to sound like, ‘Look at me,'” he said of the Oprah interview. “It’s not that at all. Actually, I was really nervous. But I thought about it for a bit, and it just felt like, OK, the GOP basically wants to destroy the lives of trans kids and stop the Equality Act. How do you not use this platform?”