HRC recently caught up with Ian Daniel, Ellen Page’s best friend and co-host of their new show, Gaycation.
Gaycation, which premieres Wednesday night on Viceland, explores LGBT culture across the globe.
HRC: How was it to travel the world with your best friend?
DANIEL: Ellen's the best travel partner honestly and such a great partner to do the show with. She's so naturally intelligent, inquisitive, open-minded, loving. Before this, we've been on several wild and interesting journeys together in the U.S., so this show felt like a amazing, natural evolution of those travels and it's just so mind-blowing that now we get to share those travels, and our friendship, with the world. I feel beyond grateful to be apart of this whole experience especially with someone I would call one of my true loves.
HRC: What's one thing you want viewers to take away from the show?
Daniel: I think Ellen and I want viewers to start out as open-minded as possible, to take the journey with us as fully as they possibly can and to feel on some level that they are also experiencing the interactions as we are. So we do hope viewers feel more connected to other stories around the world that they might not normally be exposed to, that the show expands people's worldview in general and also their understanding of what LGBTQ people face all over the world. And also, if there are people that are watching that don't agree with LGBTQ people or are confused about how they feel, and I do hope those people are watching, hopefully the show would challenge their personal views, feelings and encourage them to question if discriminating against people is actually making their lives or anyone else's lives any better.
HRC: What was your favorite moment?
DANIEL: The ones that stick out as the more personally moving are, first, being present to experience first hand the first ever-public gay pride events in Jamaica. It was inspiring, electrifying and felt we were witnessing an important moment in Jamaican LGBTQ history. And also it was really special to take part in the Zen Buddhist LGBTQ wedding ceremony, where Ellen and I exchange friendship, love vows. It was a sad reality on one level that LGBTQ people in that country can't actually get married, but it was emotional and moving to take time to appreciate and share our love for each other. Our friendship is such an important part of the series and it was pretty extraordinary to be able to start off the series by expressing our gratitude and love.
HRC: What was your favorite and least favorite city and why?
DANIEL: To be honest, on some level, I loved every city we went to. Each place was so different from the next and offered a totally different perspective on LGBTQ life. Even Des Moines Iowa had its interesting surprises. Tokyo and Kyoto were probably the most unique places I've ever visited, mainly because the way of life and culture feels so different than what I'm used in the US. Tokyo was electric, charming, hip and historical at the same time, the sushi is life changing and the Ni-chome LGBTQ neighborhood has so many special, alluring, underground type hangouts. There was a rawness, innocence about the bars and the LGBTQ nightlife there that you don't really see in the U.S as much these days.
HRC: Any advice to LGBT people or youth who want to travel the globe?
DANIEL: Learn more about a place before you plan a trip. Look into the country's or city’s attitudes toward LGBTQ people, of course, but also it's important to learn about their culture and customs. Be open-minded and use the trip as opportunity to grow, connect and understand the world outside of your immediate bubble and assumptions. Be loving. Be smart. Be safe.
Watch the first episode now and don’t forget to tune in for the official premiere on Wednesday, March 2 at 10 p.m. on Viceland.
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