I bought this one last year, knowing Page really only for his roles in Juno and Hard Candy, two of my favorite films, but wanting to get a better look into the struggles of the trans community. I’ve read many an LGBTQ book, even ones regarding asexuality/aromanticism, yet transexuality hadn’t really come into play in my reading yet, so it seemed high time. However, the book sat on my shelf for a little while, forgotten about. Primarily, it was due to me not reading much in the interim, but I still feel a bit guilty since I did seek out books here and there that piqued my interest more while this continued to just take up space on the shelf. Once I completed Butts, though, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to keep the non-fiction train rolling and jump into Pageboy at long last. And I’m simultaneously glad and sad that I did.
Like with Jennette McCurdy’s book, the depths of the bullshit Page had to put up with knew no ends, and it was not a pleasant read by any stretch of the imagination. Never would I have put “a man says he’ll eat Page’s ass and it will taste like lime,” all in the process of saying he’d fuck Page straight, on my Pageboy bingo card, for example. Or the sheer litany of times he was taken advantage of, most of them sexually. When it gets to the deep-seated self-hatred, it’s extra depressing because it makes a modicum of sense due to the treatment he has dealt with his entire life. Like with McCurdy, I was so happy to see Page find his way and heal those wounds by book’s end because I know it had to take an unbelievable amount of willpower and resolve to do so. How people like them make it through the machine that is Hollywood, and the world today, with any sanity left is a mystery to me.
Anyway, my only drawback to this book is Page’s writing style (I assume it is his, since it seems too particular to be a ghostwriter’s) is a bit rough around the edges and distracted from the content at times for me. I only mention that so you understand why I dock it a star. It’s not for the content. It’s for the frankly peculiar manner of writing Page utilizes throughout the book that takes away from things to some degree. I imagine that sounds harsh or nitpicky, but it really was a running concern that nagged at me more and more as I read and I couldn’t not mention it. It’s nothing that would make me avoid telling you to read it yourself, but just be forewarned that the writing itself is nothing overly polished and professional.