Tegan and Sara may be hoping to hear their names at the Junos this weekend, where they're up for four awards, but the pop duo got an even more meaningful namecheck last month when Ellen Page mentioned the twin sisters in her coming out speech.
"There is courage all around us," Page told the crowd at HRCF's Time to Thrive Conference. "The football hero Michael Sam, the actress Laverne Cox, the musicians Tegan and Sara Quinn, the family who supports their daughter or son who has come out. And there is courage in this room. All of you."
In an interview with CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos, excerpted in the video above, Tegan and Sara discussed Page's speech and its impact as well as their own coming out.
Strombo asked if they knew it was coming, and Tegan said nope. "We interact with a lot of artists of different types, like, you know, actors, musicians, even people that we're friends with that work in regular jobs, like, not entertainment, weird, 'everybody's looking at you' jobs… We know lots of people who are struggling with how to come out, do I come out, what’s mine, what’s private, what's public? We're quite aware of a lot of these people's struggles and have certainly been there to listen to and sort of nurture this idea that you can come out and it’s okay.
With Ellen I think what she did is incredibly brave, but I also think it will make her a happier person, which is really great. But what it told a whole generation of young people is that it’s okay to be out. I thinks she’s beautiful, and she's played all these amazing roles, and it didn't change, I don't think, her value in this sort of industry. I think it was a really good cultural moment, for sure. And I love that she namechecked us. It's awesome."
Sara then talked about their own coming out process, which happened before they were famous.
"When we first started playing music, it just happened to be at the exact same time," said, adding they were around 18 or 19. "So to me, I couldn't delineate between, 'Well we'll come out and tell all of our friends and family' and 'Jeez, we're starting this new job and I'm not gonna come out to them…'
"It was just happening at the same time and there was no instinct to protect ourselves. We were so excited to be able to tell people that we were gay."
Tegan And Sara will perform a special mini-concert from George's house which you can watch Thursday, April 10, 2014 on CBC at 11:30 pm.