In Fun Home, Alison Bechdel introduces the readers to her childhood, her growing up around the funeral home that her family ran in a small Pennsylvania town, the discovery of her passion for drawing, love of women and her father’s homosexuality. The complexity of her storytelling, which intricately balances words and images as they play off each other in nuanced ways, is remarkable. A transcript of her conversation with ROXANNE SAMER
A Conversation with Alison Bechdel
I didn’t really have a politically consciousness until I came out as a lesbian when I was nineteen. You know, I was just like this oblivious middle-class white kid and never had to deal with difference of any kind until I had to face my own. This was in 1979/1980, and it was a very politicized moment in gay and lesbian culture. Everyone was really analyzing the roots of homophobia and connecting it to every other possible kind of oppression, and it all just made beautiful theoretical sense to me. I liked it a lot. And, it’s funny talking about this now that I’m so old and jaded. Yeah, I wasn’t one of those people who was a feminist first. I mean, I was sort of always instinctually a feminist, but I wasn’t an activist in any way. And I still don’t think of myself as an activist, but I guess in a way my work has been a kind of…well, it’s partisan. It definitely comes from a particular political viewpoint.
Click to read the full conversation on Gender Across Borders