UPDATE: The Calendar is no longer available on Barnes & Noble's website, and a spokesperson for the company told us it has never been available in stores.
As the new year approaches, self-proclaimed “Christian cartoonist” Joe King has illustrated a calendar of twelve cartoons called, “I’m Not Gay, I’m Just A Sissy.” The cartoons employ outdated, highly-offensive stereotypes about LGBT people, and more specifically, gay men. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have the calendar available for sale in their online stores, generating a response from LGBT advocates. According to Daily Kos, a representative from Amazon said that further customer feedback against the calendar would be necessary for it to be removed from the store. King has defended the calendar on his Facebook page and went on to make inaccurate and anti-gay comments about HIV/AIDS.
This calendar is incredibly problematic and damaging to the LGBT community. The “humor” it purports to offer relies on a belief that there is something inherently funny about being gay or gender non-conforming. Furthermore, it espouses inaccuracies about LGBT people that only contribute to the stereotypes used to stifle progress toward equality. GLAAD has reached out to Amazon and Barnes & Noble to voice our concerns. We will continue to monitor coverage of this issue and keep our constituents updated. In the meantime, GLAAD encourages individuals and organizations to let Amazon and Barnes & Noble know that supporting this calendar by featuring it for sale in their stores is unacceptable.