I came out by reading books, not by having actual experiences with other people. I had this very formative moment: I was browsing in my college bookstore and I found this book called Word Is Out. It was a book about a documentary film that had been made which was interviews with a whole bunch of gay men and lesbians. I think it was made in the late '70s. I was spellbound by this book and as I was reading it, I had this simultaneous realization that, "Oh my God, I am one of these people in this book," and also that it was OK. Just like that, I accepted it in myself. I didn't have any long period of struggle. I had this great opportunity because of the moment, the generational moment, when I came out. It was OK to be gay in 1980.
-- Alison Bechdel, "Lesbian Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Countered Dad's Secrecy By Being Out And Open”