In a new docs-series “GAYCATION,” actress ELLEN PAGE and best friend IAN DANIEL travel around the world exploring LGBTQ cultures in other countries, but the Oscar-nominated star also turned her attention toward America and how she believes with the current lack of representation for minorities in film and TV, Hollywood still has a long way to go.
I am gay. I’m tired of lying by omission
When asked how things had changed for her since she came out in 2014 she said, “The differences I see are these little things like, ‘oh, you’re doing this thing that’s gay and this thing that’s gay, so now you’re doing these [gay roles].’ I’m like, you would never bring that up with a straight person; you would not say, ‘oh, you’re doing another movie where you’re playing a straight person, are you a little worried about it?’ No judgment, I’m just saying these are the double standards, and this is the conversation that needs to change.”
“There can be such loneliness and isolation when you’re growing up in a society that does infuse this idea in you that you’re different or something’s wrong or you’re sinful or what have you … I’m a privileged person; I live in Los Angeles; I’ve done a job that has given me money; and I can walk down the street and kiss my girlfriend. I think a lot about those that are more vulnerable than me around the world and in the United States… here’s an opportunity to go make something that allows voices to be heard that you don’t ever get to hear.”
The new series follows Page and Daniel to Japan, Jamaica, Brazil and across America, meeting a range of people who share their personal LGBTQ experiences, and those who directly oppose them, including an ex-cop turned hitman who openly admits to having killed gay people.
“I think we’d be lying if we said we didn’t feel frightened,” Page said of facing the man, who wore a mask to obscure his identity from the cameras. “It’s about capturing that person — you’re not quite putting a face to it ’cause he’s wearing a mask — really saying, ‘hey, this exists.’ You’re not thinking about yourself, you’re thinking about the vulnerable people who are walking the streets of Rio and might not know this man is walking right by them or he might just run them over in his car.”
But, according to Page, it’s clearly not just an LGBT issue. There is a need for greater representation for all minorities, on camera and behind the scenes. “If I was still closeted I wouldn’t be making this show, and let’s think about how much that limits people, or limits people of all minorities who are not given opportunities to create work,” Page said. “We do a job that’s about telling stories — obviously it’s becoming clear that we can’t just be telling stories about one group of people. People need to have opportunity; that’s what’s going to make the whole industry grow and blossom. As a person who’s involved with it and as a person who’s an audience member, I really hope that starts to happen.”
Ellen Page: ‘I am gay. I’m tired of lying by omission’