Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Alison Bechdel

The author of widely acclaimed graphic novels and a comic strip that ran for more than two decades, Alison Bechdel was born and raised in Lock Haven, Pennsylvania to parents who were teachers. After college, she moved to New York City with the ambition to become an artist. What evolved into Dykes to Watch Out For first appeared as a single-panel illustration in the New York feminist newspaper Womannews. In time Bechdel expanded it to a comic strip with a regular cast of characters, a group of radical lesbians living in a Midwestern city. Dykes to Watch Out For was eventually syndicated in several dozen alternative newspapers and had an international readership. In 2006, she published a graphic novel, Fun Home, an autobiographical work that, in her words, tells “how my closeted gay dad killed himself a few months after I came out to my parents as a lesbian.” The novel received wide praise and circulation; Time magazine named it one of its ten best books of the year. In 2012, Bechdel published a second graphic book, also autobiographical, Are You My Mother?