Canadian film star Ellen Page says she's happier and more creatively inspired than she's ever been since announcing two years ago that she is a lesbian.
And so she's putting herself front and centre with her latest passion project, Gaycation.
The Viceland travelogue follows Page and her pal Ian Daniel as they explore LGBTQ cultures around the world, examining the discrimination, and even death, people face if they reveal themselves to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning.
"I'm producing movies and telling stories that I want to tell," Page says of this new phase of her career, which includes producing as well as starring in last year's lesbian drama Freeheld and the upcoming survival tale Into the Forest.
"Being closeted hurt my career way more in my opinion, because I was not happy and I was not inspired and I wasn't really enjoying my job anymore," says the Halifax-born Page in a recent interview.
"For me, it became way more important to get to live my life and be my authentic self — more so than being in the movies, quite frankly. And so right now that's what I'm focusing on, I'm focusing [on being] the happiest in my life and in my work than I've ever been."
Celebrating sexuality and identity
In Gaycation, Page says she's more than just a talking head — she's part of the team hashing out which countries to visit, which issues to delve into, and how to frame the stories they discover.
The 29-year-old Juno star says she was most surprised to learn about LGBTQ issues in Brazil, which she assumed would be more welcoming because of its relatively progressive image.
While there, Page and Daniel party in the streets of a gay-friendly slum, but later they meet a former cop who plainly states that he has murdered LGBT people.
"You have Carnival — it celebrates sexuality and identity — and there are so many trans dancers and the year that we were there there was a float specifically celebrating sexual identity," says Page, who told the world she was gay while speaking at a human rights youth conference in 2014.
"But [Brazil] has the highest rate of LGBTQ murders in the world."
The fourth instalment of Gaycation focuses on the United States — but part of the episode involves a First Nations gathering in Saskatchewan, Page points out. That episode airs Wednesday on Viceland.