The new LGBT travel series featuring Ellen Page and Ian Daniel, Gaycation, just had it’s pilot episode.
Recently, she sat down with the New York Times to discuss a few things regarding her new series and what she has planned for it. As I discuss in the article linked above, the new show has a strong advocacy vibe, where they learn more about LGBT lifestyle and culture in each place they go to.
The first thing Ellen discussed is if this was the plan from the beginning.
“The core original idea was a travel show, and to focus on LGBT culture in different places. I’m always excited when I get to watch something that represents the community I’m a part of. But, naturally, advocacy is going to be a part of it.”
“No matter what country you’re in, you’re going to find LGBT people who are vulnerable and struggling. For me, it was also a journey of learning more about LGBT history and culture and also to demonstrate what it means to be a gay person and travel around the world.”
But, as she herself touches on, the vibe of Gaycation is also one of celebration, both for gay travel and communities.
“[…] it depends on the country. Like in Japan, we go to Ni-chome, the gay district in Tokyo, and then we go to Kyoto, to this Buddhist temple where they do symbolic same-sex wedding ceremonies; gay marriage isn’t legal in Japan. Ian and I wore the quote-unquote male version of the kimono and participated in the ceremony. In a place like Rio, we go to a lesbian bar, but in a place like Jamaica, gay bars don’t exist. We went to a vogueing night in New York.”
But, as you might expect, Ellen and Ian will come across less than welcoming destinations as they travel. While a lot has been achieved for LGBT equality, there are still many countries where homosexuality is illegal or gay marriage does not exist.
When discussing her experiences in less than welcoming destinations, Ellen said: “One of most special things were all the unbelievable people we got to know — the bravest people you could ever possibly meet. It was very humbling. We also had the incredible opportunity to witness the first-ever public pride event in Jamaica.”
“After having been there for two weeks and meeting a lot of people who face a lot of difficulties, it was pretty unbelievable to see people out in the middle of Kingston with rainbow flags. It was basically like a flash mob, nothing official. I felt really grateful to them for letting us film.”