May 1, 2014 at 4:00 PM ET
When Ellen Page came out as a lesbian earlier this year at a high-profile conference for gay youth, she was so anxious she thought she would have a panic attack, the 27-year-old "Juno" actress confided during a visit to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" this week.
"(It was) the most nervous I've ever been," Page recalled.
DeGeneres knows firsthand the courage Page had to muster. In 1997, the now-56-year-old comedienne came out in a "Time" magazine cover story that shocked millions — and ultimately advanced gay acceptance in entertainment circles and beyond.
For her own announcement, Page felt the timing was right. "I was just so ready to do it, and quite frankly, so excited to do it ... (I felt) such thrill to finally be at that place in my life where I was able to do that."
Having a role model in DeGeneres helped. “(I was) grateful to have that moment and grateful to you because you did it in a time when it was much harder and much scarier,” Page told the host.
Page says she's been happier and more at ease since leaving the closet. "It's so nice ... to feel like you're being yourself and then connect with people in the world," the actress said.
"It's a really cool thing," DeGeneres agreed.
"The Ellen DeGeneres Show" airs weekdays. Check local listings for times.