Alison Bechdel – Born: 10 September, 1960:
Famous for her iconic comic-strip series “Dykes to Watch Out For” – Alison Bechdel is a prominent cartoonist, author and creator whose graphic works truly took the publishing scene by storm. First published in 1983, “Dykes to Watch Out For” utilised Bechdel’s individual style and wit, creating a syndicated series that debunked stereotypes of lesbian relationships and showed the complexities behind them, all through Bechdel’s alter ego, Mo.
DTWOF was a truly representative series, showcasing the lives of characters of all ethnicities, gender identities, religions and orientations. The world of her characters was truly diverse and through the twenty five years that the series ran, it showed the women’s development and journeys from getting promotions and their educational paths, relationships with people of different gender identities and the tackling of illnesses such as breast cancer and MS. Interwoven with these heart-warming lesbian stories, Bechdel immersed a socio-political commentary, discussing the battle for LGBT rights and the plight of those involved and how they were represented by a heteronormative media. She was unapologetic in bringing these issues to the forefront for wider society, and it made for a lot of controversy and debating over the characters. DTWOF was extremely multifaceted and personable, and its humour captured the hearts of queer youth within America and thus is truly cemented as a cult classic today.
Award-winning graphic memoir “Fun Home” was Bechdel’s novel that focused upon her relationship with her father and his passing. Ultimately, the story is described as “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” – It was hailed as a best book by multiple sources in 20016, and won awards including the Lambda award and an Eisner award. She was embraced by the LGBT community, and was given the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book. Ultimately, Alison Bechdel’s works are inspired by her journeys of sexuality and gender non-conformity, all told through a very unique artistic medium. The personal intricacy and presentation of them are what make them vital when discussing all facets of LGBT history.
“The secret subversive goal of my work is to show that women, not just lesbians, are regular human beings.”