10/06/2014 11:35 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Why 'Fun Home' Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Says Not Identifying As A 'Queer Artist' Has Made Her More Ambitous

Cartoonist and graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel says that she feels less inclined to define herself as a "queer artist" now than she has in the past.

"I've always been very proud to call myself a lesbian artist," Bechdel, who nabbed a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship "genius grant" last month, told HuffPost Live last week. "[But] at a certain point, I realized it actually has a limiting quality. People might not see you as a cartoonist if you describe yourself as a queer cartoonist."

Bechdel, 54, says choosing not to always identify as a "queer cartoonist" was a "seismic, psychic" shift, because "I'd gotten so used to thinking of myself as this marginal, subcultural animal who couldn't be part of a bigger world."

In addition, the "Fun Home" scribe says the revised mindset has "made me more ambitious."

"It's freed me up to write about stuff I wouldn't have taken on when I was younger when I felt very comfortable in that subcultural ghetto," she said.

After an acclaimed run at New York's Public Theater, a musical version of Bechdel's "Fun Home" is slated to open on Broadway next year.



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