Fun Home creator Alison Bechdel on turning a tragic childhood into a hit musical

The acclaimed graphic novelist, who gave the world the famous movie equality ‘test’, on exposing her family, appearing in The Simpsons and why comics are her Trump therapy

Last summer, Alison Bechdel returned to the small Pennsylvania town where she grew up (population: 700) to see a production of the musical based on her 2006 graphic memoir, Fun Home a comic that, to sum it up rather brutally, tells the story of how her closeted gay father killed himself a few months after she came out as a lesbian. “It was super-surreal,” she says. “It was the same theatre where my mother would do her amateur dramatics and my father was on the board. I was a little afraid. I felt anxious, like, oh my God, I’m going to see all these people and they’re going to be pissed off with me. Because there were people in my hometown ...