Watch as Ellen Page helps a man come out as gay to his mother.

In the first episode of her new docu-series, Ellen Page helps a young man.

Ellen Page and friend Ian Daniel are doing a little traveling to learn more about global gay culture.

It's all part of their new Viceland docu-series "Gaycation," following the two around the world as they interview people and interact with other cultures to learn more about what it's like to be gay in these countries, and to generally shine a light on global gay rights.

The first episode takes a look at Japan.


All GIFs from Viceland/YouTube.

At first glance, Japan seems like it might be a pretty gay-friendly.

While the country doesn't recognize same-sex marriages, it does accept civil unions, there haven't been laws explicitly prohibiting same-sex relationships since the late 19th century, several cities throughout the country have nondiscrimination ordinances, and its predominant religions aren't anti-gay (relative to what we're used to here in the U.S.).

Still, it's not all that gay-friendly overall. It's kind of odd, really.

A 2014 study found that nearly 70% of the country's gay, lesbian, and bisexual students had experienced bullying on the basis of their sexual orientation, and 30% had considered suicide.

Even so, the homophobia in Japanese culture is, for the most part, pretty subtle.

Kanako Otsuji, Japan's first out gay politician, explains what prevents gay people from feeling comfortable: fear and shame.

While we're used to really blatant (sometimes even violent) forms of homophobia in the U.S., it's different in Japan. That is, being gay is a path to being ostracized by friends, family, and coworkers. It's faint, but present. Coming out is met with shame.

During the episode, Otsuji explains that climate and demonstrates why she's a total badass for pushing to make gay rights part of her political platform in spite of pushback.


All that is what makes this next part so powerful.

Page and Daniel were asked to tag along and provide support as a man came out as gay to his mother.

The young man wanted a friend there to support him during the difficult conversation, only he didn’t have any. So Page and Daniel came along as a show of solidarity.

In a culture where coming out is seen as shameful, the young man's bravery is stunning.

The whole scene is really touching and might just make you cry.

His mother briefly left the room, saying, "I'm sorry." Soon enough, she was back, and she did what any loving mother would do: She offered her son support and pledged to "accept it and gradually understand it."

It's important to be authentic. That's why coming out can be so crucial to one's own self-esteem and overall happiness.

Here. Let Ellen Page explain why she felt she had to come out:

It's through coming out that we can change minds and change the world.

Page ends the episode talking about the importance of coming out, and how that's the most surefire path to long-term social acceptance. (And she's right.)

"I think the interesting thing about ... people who have a hard time with [the LGBT community] ... when someone in their life comes out, the change is fast," says Page. "It’s not always super easy at first, but I feel like people evolve quite quickly. I think it’s because we all obviously understand love and desire it, and can understand what that means for other people."

Watch the entire episode of "Gaycation" below (the story of the man coming out to his mother starts at about 33 minutes).

Can't wait for episode two!


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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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via Cadbury

Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Well Being

Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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Culture