• Rusharn identifies as a 'stud' in the Channel 4 series, The Black Lesbian Handbook. (Channel 4)Source: Channel 4
Channel 4’s web-series takes a gritty look at intersectionality.
By
Ben Winsor

10 May 2016 - 2:36 PM  UPDATED 10 May 2016 - 2:36 PM

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has delved into the lives of double minorities with a slick web-series called The Black Lesbian Handbook. 

The show nails the intersection of race and gender identity, taking an intimate look experiences of three black British lesbians. A second season looks at black lesbian culture in the US.

There’s Rusharn (a ‘stud’ with swagger) Nneka (a ‘fem’ with glamour) and Kaspa (a ‘stem’ comfortable with a mix of both).

But while the Brits in the first series present confidently in both their culture and sexuality, their families have struggled to accept their identities.

"In the back community it’s not accepted - they don’t want to understand, they don’t want to know.They just want to know what’s wrong with you, and how we cure what you’re going through,” Rusharn says, "it’s just get rid of it and be with a guy.”

In Rusharn’s childhood she felt she had to prove her masculinity, prove she was as tough as one of the guys. Nneka says she went in the other direction, finding her femininity made it easier for her family to accept her sexuality.

"Growing up in a Jamaican background, they’re not really about it, they don’t really agree with those type of things – so for me to be feminine, I think that they’ll still be a bit wary of it, but they’ll accept it a bit more,” Nneka says. 

Kaspa, however, falls somewhere in-between.

"I’m not as masculine as your average tom-boy lesbian I suppose,” she says, "I used to hate the fact that I have breasts, and now I wish I was bigger, I’m not going to lie."

But while she’s now comfortable with who she is, her family still struggles.

"My Friends – this is how they see me, this is how i feel comfortable around them. But when it comes to like family functions, I do go feminine, it’s a respect thing. Obviously my nan’s not keen on my choice."

The series isn’t geo-blocked – freedom! – so you can check it out now