“As LGBT people have gained greater acceptance and rights in the United States and many Western countries, in other parts of the world gay people face discrimination and even death.
Actress Ellen Page and friend Ian Daniel set out to explore what it’s like to be LGBT — the good and the bad — in different parts of the world. They’re doing it in a new travel documentary show calledGaycation on the recently-launched Viceland channel.
In the first three episodes, the two travel to Japan to watch a man come out to his mother; interview an alleged hitman of LGBT people in Brazil; and see how dancehall music and Rastafari affect views on homosexuality in Jamaica.
Ellen Page and Ian Daniel spoke with NPR’s Michel Martin about what they hope people learn from watching the show.
On the genesis of the show
Page: The original idea was in a sense a travel show of course, but to go to other countries and solely focus on the LGBTQ community and culture in that country.
Daniel: I just was completely interested in the idea of LGBTQ culture and politics around the world. I just had an innate curiosity of — what is that like? What are those stories? I think it was that simple and it was a no-brainer for me really.
On filming a scene that features a Japanese man coming out to his mother, who did not know
Page: Honestly we thought about that a lot. And when this young man reached out to have us be there for this moment — it was spontaneous that came up while we were in Japan, that wasn’t a planned thing before we went. I understand the dilemma in regards of whether to do it or not. And we did talk about it, but we did decide to do it and be there and it does seem to have moved a lot of people. Their intimate moment and their generosity in deciding to share that story, in a lot of responses we’ve seen, seems to have affected people…