Ellen Page has opened up about a confrontation with a corrupt policeman who specialised in murdering gay people on the side.
The Freeheld star, who came out as a lesbian in 2014, fronts VICE’s new documentary series Gaycation – and travelled to some of the most homophobic places on earth alongside gay best friend Ian Daniel.
Speaking to the Daily Beast, Page opened up about her confrontation in Brazil with a man who works as a contract killer targeting gay people.
The man had agreed to talk on the condition of anonymity – and met with Page and the crew.
She said: “To be honest with you when we were on the roof of a house in the favela and this guy came up, the feeling in my body definitely shifted.”
When asked about killing gay people, he replies: “I think every pigsty needs to be cleaned up… they are worse than animals. If they cross my path I will take care of them.”
But despite the dangerous situation, Page tells the man that she and best friend Ian Daniel are both gay.
She says: “I thought it was important for us to say it to that man and get his honest opinion.
“You just had a conversation with people who are gay. Would you want to kill us, too?
“I think it’s hard to read on camera, but he went from pretty much looking at us, or looking at us from above those sunglasses, to not even looking at our faces after that.
“There was definitely a shift in that moment. That was definitely a moment where you’re like, OK, what did I just do?”
She added: “I checked with everyone because it’s not just me I’m making vulnerable in that situation. There’s a whole crew we work with and the producers on the ground in Brazil. Of course I checked in with everybody.”
The actress continues: “For the most part you’re thinking not about yourself, but those who are living in that community who are potentially at risk of that happening every day.
“And you’re thinking about how does this change? I will say that when you meet the activists in these places, who are the most brave, courageous people that you could ever hope to have the opportunity to meet and talk to and learn from, they make you feel so inspired, like change is hopefully inevitable.
“Not to sound cheesy, but it does seem like love does win in the end. The journey to equality doesn’t stop.”
Ian Daniel added: “When you’re looking into someone’s eyes who just openly admits to cold murdering you, or people like you, it’s a chilling thing to hear.
“I think Ellen and I are agreeing, we’re not really thinking about ourselves. We’re not necessarily thinking ‘Are we in danger?’
“We’re thinking about the people he’s talking about walking down the street and getting run over by a car. Their family doesn’t know where they went.
“There’s no justice for these families. How do you stop this? ‘How many people are there like you, sir?’
“Just assessing the problem. Yes, Ellen and I certainly have experienced hate speech at some level in our lives.
“But I think that was the most visceral form of standing face to face with someone admitting that they hate you and thinking that you’re the dirt of the earth.”
It isn’t the only time Page confronts a homophobe in the series – she attends a Pride parade in Jamaica despite the threats of violence, and challenges anti-LGBT Republican Ted Cruz, who later called her a “liberal fascist”.
Check out the first episode, in which the pair investigate Japan’s gay community, below: