In this three-part weeklong series, ELIXHER examines the Black lesbian web series phenomenon. Here we chat with Mursi Layne and Alexis Casson, the founders of The Peculiar Kind, a web series that candidly explores the lives and experiences of queer women of color. (Also read “Black Lesbian Web Series and Critical Fandom: Conversations with Cultural Creators.”)
ELIXHER: What inspired you two to create The Pecuiar Kind?
THE PECULIAR KIND: The bottom line is that we didn’t see ourselves on television, and there are a lot of women of color who have something of substance to say. Sadly, there has been an outpour of women of color portrayed on television series surrounded by drama. Also, if there is an LGBTQ person of color on a movie or TV series, the characters are very stereotypical. We decided to get some of them together to discuss important topics and document the conversations.
ELIXHER: Why did you select the unscripted, documentary-style format?
TPK: We decided to do an unscripted, documentary-style webseries because we wanted the conversations to be organic. Moreover, we love the personalities of the cast members, so we didn’t want to alter their character in any way.
ELIXHER: What are some of the greatest challenges you face as queer filmmakers and how are you overcoming them?
TPK: With any project, most of the time, there will be financial challenges unless you have sponsors willing to fund your project. All of The Peculiar Kind was independently funded by us until we finally decided to ask for help via our Indiegogo fundraising campaign. Although the campaign is over and we didn’t reach our goal, donations can still be made via our website. Another challenge, is balancing creative projects with a day job. TPK is like having a second full-time job. There is also marketing, PR, maintaining the website among other things that have to be done. Passion and time management gets us through it!
ELIXHER: What are some of your other favorite queer women of color series and why?
TPK: Currently, we’ve been watching Skye’s The Limit, a scripted series that’s well-written and queer-positive. But we are really looking forward to new project coming this year by Cereus Arts. Jade Foster and Alyssa Hollins have put together a talented cast and production team and what we’ve seen so far, looks absolutely amazing.
ELIXHER: What’s next for TPK?
TPK: We have so many ideas for TPK and post-TPK Season 2, including a spin-off series. Although we didn’t meet our fundraising goal, we are going to shoot the rest of Season 2 episodes, excluding the one where we would travel and interview QPOC in multiple cities. Also, we have enjoyed the past college visits where we did a screenings followed by a Q&A of The Peculiar Kind:The Doc. Submitting The Doc. to film festivals is also in the works.
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