Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (The Wire), Az Marie Livingston (America’s Next Top Model), Po Johnson (LaLa’s Full Court Life) and Ariane Davis (VH1’s Love and Hip Hop) star in first-time director Nneka Onuorah‘s documentary The Same Difference. The film, which discusses hypocrisy in the black lesbian and bisexual community, was inspired by Onuorah’s own experiences of being told that she “should cut off her hair,” “be more butch,” or “dress more baggy” in order to look like everyone else and fit in. After witnessing a masculine presenting woman, known as a “stud,” “aggressive” or “dom” being jumped for not being tough enough, Onuorah was inspired to shed some light on the issue.
While fighting for the right to live outside the boundaries of hetero-normative society, some queer women are enforcing their own boundaries on their already marginalized community. There are strict definitions for studs and femmes and guidelines to help regulate the appearance, behavior and relationships of each. Onuorah was interested in the stories of the women who lived outside these boundaries and how their own communities perceived them.
According to Onuorah, there is a pregnant woman in Miami who is being disowned by her friends because of their rigid definitions of how a stud is supposed to behave. “She has decided to give birth to a child and they feel aggressive women are not suppose to have babies,” Onuorah said.
An associate producer at BET Networks, Onuorah tackles the topic of biphobia and intersectionality in her hour-long film.
Onuorah hopes to release the film in December. Although the film targets the discrimination within the lesbian/bisexual community, Onuorah believes that the film will appeal to anyone who has experienced discrimination.
“What I think makes the film so dynamic is that it ties in how discrimination in the lesbian community relates to so many other facets of life. It’s very inclusive,” Onuorah said. “So whether you’re a 50-year-old Caucasian woman, or an Asian male you will be able to watch the film and directly relate it to how discrimination effects you within your own subgroup.”