Elliot Page & his wife Emma Portner separated last summer & are getting a divorce

Emma Portner, Ellen Page  at "The Cured"....

When Elliot Page announced that he is transgender, his wife Emma Portner supported him on social media, praising Elliot for his announcement and generally standing by him. I honestly believed that they were still together and that Emma had been supporting Elliot throughout his journey. Elliot’s announcement came in early December. Not even two full months later, Elliot and Emma have announced that they are filing for divorce:

Elliot Page, the star of “Juno,” has filed for divorce after just 3 years of marriage. Elliot just filed the legal docs in Manhattan seeking the dissolution of his marriage to Emma Portner, whom he married around January 2018.

The couple had announced their surprise wedding on Instagram, with Page writing at the time … “Can’t believe I get to call this extraordinary woman my wife.” Page began sharing photos with Portner in summer 2017. Emma, a dancer and choreographer who teaches at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC, was also featured in Justin Bieber’s “PURPOSE: The Movement” music videos and tour performances.

[From TMZ]

Elliot and Emma ended up confirming the news to People Magazine after TMZ broke the story, and they issued a joint statement: “After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce following our separation last summer. We have the utmost respect for each other and remain close friends.” Ah, so they separated last summer, then Elliot made his announcement months later? I would assume that they were still in each other’s lives, but probably living separately and giving each other space.

I’ve heard anecdotal stories about how it’s quite common for couples to split during or after one partner’s transition, even if the cisgender spouse/partner is supportive and wants to keep the relationship intact. I would assume that Elliot simply needed some time and space to work on himself and Emma supported that as well. Of course, they could have split for other reasons too!

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41 Responses to “Elliot Page & his wife Emma Portner separated last summer & are getting a divorce”

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  1. Escondista says:

    She married who she thought was Ellen, not Elliot. I wish them both luck as they figure out their path forward and I’m glad they seem to be supportive!

    • Lisa says:

      This is pretty possible. I had a good friend in College who was gay, he had a boyfriend for a year or so and then his bf came out as trans, said he wanted to be a woman, that he still loved him and wanted to be with him, but my friend had to be honest that he was attracted to men and not to women, that he had made the choice to date said bf because he was attracted to him and not him as her. They were young, though, so its really not indicative of all relationships, but I would say its just a matter of individual attraction and choice. Ive known friends to split from a partner who didnt want kids when they themselves were super keen on kids. Some things in life can’t be salvaged with love alone. Nothing wrong with it, just being realistic about how each of us only have one life to live and sacrificing everything for someone ahead of your own happiness isn’t always the smart thing.

      • Alissa says:

        yeah, my first relationship had its own stuff but the ultimate reason it ended was because my partner came out as trans. I still loved her very much and wanted to be with her, but had to admit to myself that I am not a lesbian and I’m not interested in being with a woman.

        I’ll be honest, I’m not at all surprised by this because Elliot’s wife made a comment when Elliot announced his transition that she was still processing things. it seemed pretty likely that they weren’t going to stay together.

      • paranormalgirl says:

        I have friends going through that very same issue now. One partner came out as trans and the other partner, while being supportive, is not attracted to men and is not attracted to the idea of her partner now being a man. It’s been hard for both of them.

      • Mariposa says:

        I think it could also be an issue if someone in Emma’s position identified really strongly as being a lesbian. After her partner transitioned, this could mean she would be in a ‘straight’ relationship. I think that is often overlooked when a partner transitions – because can put the non-transitioning partner into a different type of identity too.

    • cassandra says:

      I was thinking this as well.

      Also, Emma seemed very uncomfortable with the attention that came with Elliot’s coming out.

    • Case says:

      I was thinking the same. No matter how much you love someone, if your partner no longer identifies as the gender you’re attracted to, I imagine that’s a dealbreaker. That must be so difficult — of course you want your partner to live as their true selves, but there’s a certain loss in the relationship then, too.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Many marriages break down when one of the two transitions. It’s a deal breaker.

    • HeyJude says:

      Do you actually have knowledge that Elliott wasn’t privately out to her when they married?

      Just because we in the public didn’t know doesn’t mean Emma didn’t either. We don’t know what went on in their private lives.

  2. Jane Doe says:

    When a person is queer and even more when people are trans, society associates every challenge or hardship they face as being related to identity. We have such high divorce rates as a society, and no one divorces for one reason alone. People find they aren’t suited to one another, mature differently, or a have million valid reasons why their relationships need to change and end.

    • EllenOlenska says:

      Very true, but I do think Emma was put in a challenging position. Had she not been supportive she would have been skewered in the press. Eliot is the more famous partner and has received support ( and I’m sure some backlash, not discounting that) but this is Eliot’s journey and I don’t think anyone has asked Emma if this is what SHE signed up for. Marriages have many twists and turns and is for better or for worse in theory, but I have heard a lot about what Eliot wants…and not much about Emma. Better they end it now, before kids, bigger assets etc…are involved. ( and I don’t mean that you are saying what Eliot wants). And you may be right, maybe it has nothing to do with this.

    • Midge says:

      IDK. The timing of the split, around a major life change, is what leads one to believe the two events are related.

    • ThEHufflepuffLizLemon says:

      Absolutely. However, when the orientation or identity changes/evolves during the marriage, it has to be impactful on the relationship dynamics, vs. a divorce of people who still have the same orientation/gender as when they entered the marriage/relationship.

      Speaking from personal experience, that foundation shifts and if your orientation no longer aligns, staying in a marriage would be difficult.

    • Lucy2 says:

      It’s certainly possible it has nothing to do with that, and just a regular “ we don‘t get along anymore “ divorce.
      Either way, I hope they stay friends snd supportive of each other.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I was thinking along similar lines, Jane Doe. Marriages often dont’ work out for many reasons. But I remember being surprised when they married, because I thought Page was still with Samantha Thomas at the time.

  3. Gruey says:

    I feel compelled to mention what an important right divorce is and it infuriates me when people on the right point to gay divorce as some kind of argument against gay marriage. The right to be able to legally divide assets, child custody, etc is just as vital as the right to wed in the eyes of the law. It also infuriates me that there are people who treat every gay marriage as reflecting on the worthiness or unworthiness of the whole institution. Anyway. Rant over

  4. OriginalLala says:

    We shouldn’t just assume the divorce is because of Elliot coming out as trans – marriage is complicated, there are so many possible reasons

    • kat says:

      Like a worldwide pandemic that has so many people splitting up. It could “just” be that too.

    • Amanda says:

      I wonder if Elliot started transitioning already when they got married or not? That would make a big difference as to why they are getting divorced.

    • Amanda says:

      I wonder if Elliot started transitioning already when they got married or not? That would make a big difference as to why they are getting divorced.

    • Amanda says:

      I wonder if Elliot started transitioning already when they got married or not? That would make a big difference as to why they are getting divorced.

    • Amanda says:

      I wonder if Elliot had already started transitioning when they got married or not? That could make a big difference into why they are getting divorced.

      • Joan Rivers says:

        1) Divorce usually takes a while to come to fruition.
        Just as going through Transition takes a while.
        What people aren’t mentioning is that they both take time. Years usually.

        2) And transition involves taking hormones. HORMONES are powerful. We wouldn’t take them if they weren’t. But we don’t know exactly what change they’ll make. We want the physical ones but how much do we want the emotional ones?

        3) Also, “This isn’t what I signed up for / I’m not attracted any more” contradicts the idea of SOUL MATES. How does that apply here?

        4) I wonder if someone who transitions NEVER had any questions about their orientation. NEVER? Didn’t cross your mind? WHEN does it?

        5) “Soul mates” may be a corny idea to some and maybe a couple doesn’t feel like they are. But if you’re caring and insightful don’t you ask yourself if you’re in the right body?
        When you’re with a partner? Why doesn’t that trigger some insight?

        All these questions sound more negative to me than I thought I felt, so I guess my gut feeling is not so positive, when I explore this.

  5. VS says:

    divorce is hard and happens, so I wish them all the best

  6. Penguin says:

    Deuxmoi shared a few anon sources saying Elliot was frequently seen out and about w women while filming here in Toronto and elsewhere that seemed much more friendly than coworkers or just casual friends. Maybe their wife had enough.

  7. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    Very sad, but not surprising. Emma signed up for marriage to a woman.

  8. Elizabeth M says:

    I’ve read of multiple instances of Elliot stepping out long before his transition, I think there were issues way beforehand.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Emma is a lesbian who married a woman. So Elliot transitioning to a man would I presume be hard for her. I know a lot of couples can and do survive one partner transitioning but a lot of them don’t and it is usually down to the fact that sexual attraction plays a big part in relationships. I think it’s awesome that she publicly supported Elliott regardless of what was going on in their marriage. She is probably genuinely happy for him but also may recognize that their romantic relationship is over.

    • clomo says:

      She seems like a lovely lady, shame she had to deal with Justin B., what an ass he was to her. I can’t imagine if my boyfriend told me he was trans, I think it would be hard. It was obviously hard for the Jenners (of all people!).

  10. Rose says:

    I divorced my first husband because he waited until after we were married to tell me that he didn’t want to have sex. (It was six years before I figured out he just didn’t want to have sex with me.). I didn’t sign up for a friendship roommate situation, and if he had transitioned to a woman that would have ended it for me too. It’s not discriminatory or anything against the partner—a major change has happened that’s changed the entire relationship from the foundation up. Why should she have to stay miserable because she’s a lesbian who is now married to a man?

    • Veronica S. says:

      I really think we need to do better culturally at training our kids at romantic, and particularly sexual, communication. I get how it happens in LGBT+ circles and even with some straight people because we live in a heternormative and sexist society with rigid sexual mores, so sometimes people don’t have space to figure out these things before they commit, but it’s just…not helping any of us in the long run to pretend it isn’t an issue.

      It’s just mindblowing that people make as big a decision about life as getting married…and then don’t discuss something as massive as the fact that they’re asexual with their partner beforehand, not when it’s such a basic part of being in a romantic relationship. I knew a woman who identified as ace who was in a relationship with a guy for years already. They hadn’t had premarital sex because their culture was pretty conservative (she’s Malaysian), and when she asked a few us whether it was important to talk about, I was like…yes?? absolutely?? Like, what happens when you get married and it’s the wedding night?? What happens when he wants kids?? It’s like somebody who’s into kink marrying a very vanilla person and then being shocked when they aren’t compatible. People are just too often raised to pretend this isn’t a huge part of adult relationships.

  11. Simalu says:

    At the risk of being a bit unpopular, feels like Ellen/Elliot has become quite self absorbed with this whole transition and wife decided to seek pastures everywhere else. Agree with her

    • gemcat says:

      a bit unpopular (??) @Simalu…maybe don’t start out by deadnaming Elliot??!

      On that note tho, I noted that there was no retroactive name change carried out in Elliot’s own work “There’s something in the water” when streamed through AppleTV the other day, but there is on Netflix, so maybe he doesn’t actually mind… but I would never just presume such a thing.

      Secondly, I would however assume that, to some extent, someone’s transition would be quite an inward-turning process, but that doesn’t have to mean self absorbed. So yeah, this was unpopular with me at least, that’s for sure….

    • Peri says:

      Saying a publicly-facing trans person has “become quite self absorbed with this whole transition” and also deadnaming him is…an interesting choice, on top of “this whole transition” being incredibly flippant.

      I think that if I were trans, famous, and transitioning in the public eye on top of all of it, then I would probably spend quite a lot of time thinking about myself, which is normal? It’s a huge assumption to say he’s become self-absorbed, there is literally nothing to back that up except for your own prejudices. Ridiculous.

  12. Veronica S. says:

    I think it’s entirely fair reason to break up if that’s Page’s transition is what did it. An old school friend wound up divorcing her husband after he realized he was trans a few years into the marriage and now identifies as she because, well, she was straight, and now her partner was a woman. If Emma is a lesbian, then she’s attracted to women and female presentation. That’s not something that stops existing if your partner decides they aren’t cis.

    Even in couples where people are bi/pan, I think it can be an issue because there’s no getting around that relationship dynamics and attraction can be strongly linked to gender identity and presentation. As a bi woman, I’d probably be in a better position if my partner were to transition to be okay with it, but I can’t promise that would mean they were attractive to me in the way they were as a cisgender person. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. It sucks that they broke up, but I get why it happens.

  13. K says:

    I am friends with a couple who have been through this. Its is so difficult. They still have love for one another but just couldn’t make it work. It is really sad, but at least they are still close in some ways

  14. Coffeeisgood says:

    I would imagine that would be very hard as a spouse. You married a woman and if you are not attracted to men that would probably be an issue for you. I wish them both the best.