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Christian cartoonist’s homophobic calendar yanked from Barnes & Noble, Amazon websites

Friday, December 30, 2011

SEATTLE — American Christian cartoonist Joe King’s calendar, “I’m Not Gay, I’m Just a Sissy,” drew a firestorm of criticism from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and LGBT bloggers, who this week denounced the calendar and its sale through internet retail giants Amazon and Barnes & Noble, both of whom have since removed the calendar from their sales offerings.

The controversy began earlier this week when New York-based gay blogger Andy Towle detailed the contents of King’s calendar, which includes jokes about AIDS and gay lifestyles, and negative stereotyping of gay men.

“This calendar has no business being sold and supported by reputable retailers,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs and Communications for GLAAD, in an e-mail statement. “King has a right to his opinions, however anti-gay or anti-transgender they may be, but retailers also have the right to decide that they don’t want to support hateful and dehumanizing content like this.”

Barnes & Noble has since yanked the calendar for sale on its website, and a spokesperson for the company told GLAAD that it has never been made available in its retail stores. Amazon has also removed the item.

The calendar — which is dedicated to the memory of the U.S. revolutionary hero Paul Revere, and to gay rights opponent Anita Bryant — promises “12 months of sexual confusion” and has drawn staunch criticism for what many some deemed homophobic humor and imagery, including one illustration which appears to poke fun at the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Another cartoon is a parody of Revere, showing him on horseback shouting, “The sodomites are coming! The sodomites are coming!”

Few in the LGBT community are laughing about the calendar and as the fury built, its author hit back at critics.

King, a member of the Christian Comic Art Society, took to his Facebook page writing in defense of his work.

“I feel like David vs. the gay Goliath,” King writes in one post. In another, he adds, “All the hysteria is coming from those nice folks who haven’t bothered to actually purchase and read my collection. Stranger still — these are REPRINTS of nationally distributed work several years old. No outcry then.”

Critics were quick to point out this post in which King writes:

The “truth” is that AIDS is an “elective” disease. It STOPS the day guys quit sticking it to each other. And for the tragedy of women and children infected… THAT stops the day their gay husbands and fathers stop cheating on them. Anyone need MORE education, science or funding to understand THAT?

King, responding angrily to complaints, and commented: “Hoo-we! Hell hath no fury like a he/she scorned… The telephone tree of tantrums is lit up like a Las Vegas marquee for ‘Boy-Lesque’ today with hate mail, threats of boycott and even the risk of Jesus spitting on me for my ‘Sissy’ calendar.”

“Aint the first time I’ve been banned – won’t be the last,” King wrote to his Facebook followers on Tursday. “I was born with a loud mouth and an itchy shirt, bury me next to the Baptist. [sic]“

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36 more reader comments:

  1. happy new year,s

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:53pm
  2. good for B & N, but who was the buyer and why was it there in the first place?

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:55pm
  3. vive la revolution

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:55pm
  4. So did this actually get pulled from Amazon because I was one of a large number of people who left reviews and told Amazon that I would no longer purchase from them if they did not pull it.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:56pm
  5. What a scrub.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:59pm
  6. ha, victory.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 10:59pm
  7. Wtf, all the gay people I’ve ever known were never “sissies” and can probably beat the shit out of him.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:00pm
  8. As a gay guy I think it’s funny :0. Lol. Haha.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:02pm
  9. Yes to B&N for removing it. Screw u to the asshole (joe king) who put it out there!

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:04pm
  10. “I’m not Christian,I’m just a bigot”…..

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:06pm
  11. Just had a look at some of his posts…this man seems to be confusing hate speech with free speech.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:12pm
  12. @Jools: Yes, apparently Amazon took it down.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:13pm
  13. King of the fools.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:17pm
  14. im a christian an i dont judge that isnt my job an as for homophobics what a usless emotion ppl are dumb i support you all pride nation

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:21pm
  15. Censorship is just lazy

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:28pm
  16. This is standard hatred and bigotry. When are all of these homophobic sudo christians going to realize that HIV and AIDS are not Gay diseases but they Human diseases.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:34pm
  17. For God’s sake. Enough is Enough of this horseshit. These people (like King) are not Christian, they are spawns of hell.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:41pm
  18. Wow, what an ignorant jerk.

    Posted on Friday, December 30, 2011 at 11:43pm
  19. Well, you have to be a christian (or one of the other abrahamic cults) in order to be a satanist.

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 12:01am
  20. go to hell please and get raped by priests *throw stereotypes*

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 12:13am
  21. How can he, or any one else for that matter, call this guy a Christian? What a douche.

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 12:59am
  22. we’re not confused, a wipe

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 2:20am
  23. Yikes !

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 5:14am
  24. Hooray for B@N and Amazon! What trash!

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 5:52am
  25. Such ignorant cartoonist do kill freedom and so I am glad that many gays stopped him! Amd may I add: I remember that too many gays living together even for 50 or more years, once one passed away, the family of the other, kicked the still living gay out in the streets; that I saw many times, because there were no marriage laws for homosexsuals!!! You could not even see your gay partner in the hospital! Will or did same-sex marriages or unions change that?

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 6:12am
  26. Wow they always clebrate hate and ignorance.

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 6:54am
  27. Yes B&Ndoing the right thi ghope thispicks uptheir business!big like

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 6:55am
  28. Who considered this as sell worthy in the first place?

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 7:09am
  29. amazon and barnes & noble should be ashamed….

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 7:28am
  30. They need to hire a new “buyer” for these stores…One with a little sense. So dumb!

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 9:31am
  31. This is infuriating. And it’s even worse that this cartoonist has chosen to call himself a “Christian.” Argh.

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 10:13am
  32. The author also has a book titled “101 Uses for Obama’s Big Ears.” His website is an amateurish nightmare that looks like a teenager’s Geocities page. He has a very unfunny series of comics called “If Your Parents Really Loved You.” So clearly we’re dealing with a superior mind here…

    Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 10:28am
  33. Although I’m not gay, I support gay rights. No American should be treated like a second-class citizen. And the a$$hole who made this calendar isn’t a real Christian in my eyes. A real Christian treats anyone the way they want to be treated. We need to learn to love one another.

    Just remember that all men are created equal! Be kind yourselves and to each other!

    Posted on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 1:35am
  34. Guess that jerkoff King doesn’t know that over 90% of people with HIV/AIDS in the world are heterosexual. Anyone coming into contact with King should take any action possible to harm him.

    Posted on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 1:51pm
  35. HIV is an elective disease? Like tuberculosis or leprosy, maybe? You mean people can choose to be diseased? Diseases are simply the natural effects of an organism invading another to support itself at the expense of the host.

    One of the more striking behaviors of the Christ is that he ate with prostitutes, many of whom where male, most of whom served men only, tax collectors, and other outcasts. He spoke to the lepers, a disease that is easier to catch than HIV, and far more devastating; oh, and can be caught in all the same ways that we can catch HIV, and, with casual, persistent skin to skin contact.

    Prostitutes, male and female, usually serving males (I expect they could serve females if they didn’t get caught, but that would be rare) sitting and eating with the Christ. And he was okay with them. If he ever said a word about their profession we don’t know, because not a single gospel, cannon, gnostic, or spurious, tells us what he said to them.

    Get a clue Christnick. You don’t have to bear malicious false witness to make a living.

    Posted on Monday, January 2, 2012 at 8:49am
  36. First of all, I think this guy’s a nutcase and a jerk. HOWEVER … my fear is that pressuring retailers to not sell the works of people whose opinions we find offensive could work against us. After all, look at the books by Betty Bowers that are available: I find them quite funny, but many Christians are probably offended to be parodied and stereotyped. Do we want them blacklisting retailers who sell books by Landover and Betty Bowers? I don’t …

    We either believe in free speech or we don’t. Let people air their opinions, no matter how ill-informed they be. Then, let’s shoot them down in the court of public opinion with reason and civil discourse.

    Posted on Monday, January 2, 2012 at 1:45pm