"All trans people are so different, and my story's absolutely just my story," he began. "But yes, when I was a little kid, absolutely, 100%, I was a boy. I knew I was a boy when I was a toddler. I was writing fake love letters and signing them 'Jason.' Every little aspect of my life, that is who I was, who I am, and who I knew myself to be. I just couldn't understand when I'd be told, 'No, you’re not. No, you can't be that when you’re older.' You feel it. Now I'm finally getting myself back to feeling like who I am, and it's so beautiful and extraordinary, and there's a grief to it in a way."
Back in December, Elliot announced in a letter on social media that he was transgender. During a preview of his sit-down with Oprah, the TV host asked if there was an "a-ha" moment when he knew he wanted to share the news with the world.
"Yeah, I think I was expressing this to people in my life -- much before posting that letter -- and telling people for the first time and knowing I wanted a moment to become comfortable in myself and to be able to get to that point."
With anti-trans legislation such as limiting the ability of transgender youths to play sports or receive certain medical treatments sweeping the nation, Elliot explained how he was convinced it was the perfect moment to speak his truth.
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"For me, I think it is in this time we're in right now and especially with this horrible backlash towards trans people -- particularly through trans youth -- it really felt imperative to do," he told Oprah. "And it felt important and selfish for myself and my own well-being and my mental health."
"And also with this platform, I have the privilege that I have and knowing the pain and the difficulties and the struggles I faced in my life -- let alone what so many other people are facing -- it absolutely felt crucial and important for me to share that."
Despite his newfound freedom as an openly transgender and non-binary person, Elliot said he maintains a balancing act with his emotions as five states have passed anti-trans measures.
"My feelings aren't really linear." the star told Vanity Fair. "I feel emerging joy and excitement one moment, and then in the next, profound sadness reading about people wanting to take gender-affirming health care away from children."
"I feel so grateful to be at this place in my life, and I want to use the strength I have to help in all the ways that I can."