Log Cabin Lesbians to Watch Out For

Alison Bechdel, the fabulously talented creator of the lesbian-themed comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For, has always managed to blend feminist and gay activism with excellent line art, rich characters, warm humor, and a sense of irony. While staunchly liberal, she's not afraid to take occasional shots at leftist/feminist sacred cows.

A couple of years ago, Bechdel took the bold step of introducing a conservative lesbian character, a college student named Cynthia. To Alison's credit, she does a pretty good job of portraying Cynthia sympathetically, and even lets the conservative character (I think) get the better of some political debates. Considering that Cynthia is a composite "conservative" drawn by an artist who's firmly liberal (Alison herself believes the 2004 election was "rigged"), the character manages to avoid being a caricature, a stereotype, or a conflicted, self-loathing lesbian.

Read Alison Bechdel's blog here. A fan's page has a collection of links to DTWOF strips featuring Cynthia.

I'll be interested to see what Alison Bechdel does with Cynthia in the months to come. Given Cynthia's interest in the Middle East, perhaps she will be reading up on Irshad Manji. Why, I'll bet Cynthia's love interest*, Samia, is already reading The Trouble With Islam Today.

*UPDATE: I should clarify that Samia is in a relationship with Ginger; Cynthia's crush on Samia is just that. I have it on good authority that they will not become involved with each other.