Ellen Page Talks Gaycation And Being Gay In Hollywood

Ellen Page recently spoke at a panel discussion at the South by Southwest Conference promoting her new docu-series, Gaycation, and sharing what it is like to be out in Hollywood.

Since coming out in 2014, Page has worked on a number of interesting projects in addition to Gaycation, like Freeheld with Julianne Moore and a new film she is producing and starring in with Kate Mara.

Page was asked if she felt discriminated against in Hollywood. If, for example, she was not chosen for good acting roles since she came out. She honestly said that she didn’t know.

“It’s hard for me to know—I’m not in rooms where people are making decisions of who to send what to, and the truth is, I’m absolutely not focusing on it because being in the closet hurt my career way more than being out and being happy and feeling inspired again; being able to fuse my authentic self with my creative interests.”

In her new film with Kate Mara, she will play Mara’s lover, but she is concerned that the outside interest in these films is still tied to her own sexuality.

“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 judgement, I’m just saying that these are the double standards, and this is the conversation that needs to change.”

She went on to speak about Gaycation and how important it was to her that others feel accepted and have their stories heard.

“It really was about wanting more representation, because I knew how much it meant to me at 14 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to be stumbling through the TV and find ‘But I’m a Cheerleader’ and Natasha Lyonne’s like ‘I don’t get it’ about French kissing a guy and I’m like ‘neither do I!’ And that meant something to me,” she recalled. “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.”

While filming the show, Page and her friend Daniel travelled the globe to see how LGBT people lived in various countries and cultures. They even interviewed a masked ex-cop who became a hitman and openly admitted to killing 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.”

The show premiered on March 2nd, and Daniel has said the response has been overwhelming. “What I take from that is there was a need for these stories, and we’re fulfilling that on some level,” he said. “There’s a lack of diversity in storytelling, especially on television… and it’s not just about LGBT people, it’s people of color, it’s all minorities… we just need to be aware of what people are experiencing. If you’re not experiencing that and you’re a producer or filmmaker, just take the time to educate yourself a little bit, or to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and I think that just makes for better content everywhere. For our show, we just want people to have some sort of visceral reaction. Hopefully they like it, but it’s cool if people don’t and we can create a dialogue and have a real conversation.”

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Ellen Page Talks Gaycation And Being Gay In Hollywood
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Ellen Page recently spoke at a panel discussion at the South by Southwest Conference promoting her new docu-series, Gaycation, and sharing what it is like to be out in Hollywood.
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