The first episode of Ellen Page’s GAYCATION is finally here. The series, which officially premieres March 2 on VICELAND, follows Page and her best friend Ian Daniel as they explore LGBTQ cultures around the globe, and tackles Japan as their first destination.
Japan’s relationship with the LGBTQ community is complicated, as Page and Daniel quickly find out. Despite recent cultural strides and the country’s generally nonhostile history with those who are LGBTQ, there are roadblocks. Same-sex marriage is still not legal, and households headed by same-sex couples are ineligible for the legal protections afforded to opposite-sex couples. It can be a gray area to traverse for many who are struggling to make their voices heard when Japan refuses to change discrimination laws against gender and sexual identity.
The show has its fun-filled moments as they bar hop and visit secret clubs down nondescript alleys, but the most poignant parts come in the quieter, one-on-one interviews. Some of the people Page and Daniel meet include Chiga Ogawa, who started the first women-only party in Japan, a monk who holds same-sex ceremonies, and two gay lawyers who represent LGBTQ anti-discrimination cases and happen to be a couple. “Are you physical in public?” Page asks. “Will you hold hands?” The lawyers look at each other and simultaneously laugh. “We can’t do it,” says one, “but I don’t know why.”
Watch the first episode of GAYCATION in full above and mark your calendar for new episodes airing on VICELAND Wednesdays at 10pm.