Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights advocates have slammed the release of a new 2012 calendar created by a Christian cartoonist.
Titled "I'm Not Gay, I'm Just A Sissy," the calendar -- which promises "12 months of sexual confusion" -- 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 Paul Revere, showing the Revolutionary War hero on horseback shouting, "The sodomites are coming! The sodomites are coming!"
But few in the LGBT community are laughing about the calendar. "The 'humor' it purports to offer relies on a belief that there is something inherently funny about being gay or gender non-conforming," Danny Heffernan, Advertising & Campaigns Fellow for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), wrote in a statement. "Furthermore, it espouses inaccuracies about LGBT people that only contribute to the stereotypes used to stifle progress toward equality."
Pink News quotes Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs and Communications for GLAAD, as saying: "This calendar has no business being sold and supported by reputable retailers. 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 it has never been made available in stores. UPDATE: As of Dec. 30, Amazon has also removed the item.
A member of the Christian Comic Art Society, the cartoonist has since taken to his Facebook page 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."
Other bloggers have drawn attention to yet another post by King, which reads:
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?
View the cover of the calendar below: