Joe King isn’t a sissy, he’s just a bigot

Timothy Kincaid

December 29th, 2011

A cartoonist who is described in news reports as being “Christian” (though I think many Christian churches would find his “humor” to be unwelcome) has come up with a 2012 calendar that feels about 30 years out-of-date. Fag jokes don’t have the audience they once had, and even conservatives are no longer comfortable with “jokes” that feel mean-spirited and based solely in contempt. (WGAL)

Titled “I’m Not Gay, I’m Just A Sissy,” the calendar by Joe King has drawn staunch criticism for what many are calling homophobic humor and imagery, including one illustration which appears to poke fun at the HIV/AIDS crisis, the Huffington Post reported.

Another cartoon portrays Paul Revere on horseback shouting, “The sodomites are coming! The sodomites are coming!”

Take away the premise that gay people are, by definition, offensive and absurd, and there’s nothing comical left in King’s cartoons.

A number of gay sites reported that Amazon and Barnes and Noble carried the calendar and both companies received several complaints. Even GLAAD veered from their usual focus to object to the defamation that was occurring.

I fully support King’s right to be an ahole. And I support the right for distributors and stores to carry whatever bilious crap they want. But I don’t go where I know I’ll be offended, and I prefer not to shop at stores that profit from blatant anti-gay hate.

For what it’s worth, Barnes and Noble pulled the calendar from their website and noted that it never was available in stores. Amazon has yet to respond. (In a totally unrelated subject… I wonder whether B&N’s Nook or Amazon’s Kindle is interested in the gay market… just wondering)

Ben in Atlanta

December 29th, 2011

“I wonder whether B&N’s Nook or Amazon’s Kindle is interested in the gay market…”

Are you anthropomorhizing machines?

FWIW, Google returns 755,000 results for

Timothy Kincaid

December 29th, 2011


Of course I am anthropomorphizing machines. I am completely convinced that there is an imp that lives in my iPhone named Otto Korect whose greatest delight is to replace words in my texts with other words that will result in embarrassing messages.


December 29th, 2011

Past versions of this calendar were available at Barnes & Nobel in the past. I remember looking at one & being highly offended. If I recall correctly that was in ’06 or ’07.


December 29th, 2011

Given the amount of “gay erotica” available at Amazon for Kindle download, I would say that Kindle is rather interested in that market.


December 29th, 2011

I remember shopping at a Barne’s & Noble in Toledo around the time I finally realized I’m gay. I found the LGBT section and picked out “The New Joy of Gay Sex” by Dr. Charles Silverstein and Felice Picano. Took all my courage to hand the book to the clerk to ring up.

Anyway, I’m with Timothy on this. Joe King has every right to create calendars that make him appear as a hateful, clueless ignoramus. If stores want to sell crap, let them. I mean plenty of bookstores sell Ann Coulter books. :)


December 29th, 2011

I’m happy to see that it currently has an overall rating of 1 star with 720 1-star ratings and 1 2-star rating. Restores my faith in humanity.


December 29th, 2011

It’s still on Amazon. My 1 star rating has brought the number of negative ratings to 735. There are six five star ratings, one is satirical and the other five come from the usual suspects.

Richard Rush

December 29th, 2011

If Joe King had any self-awareness, he would say,
“I’m Not Christian, I’m Just An Asshole.”

I’d like to see an entrepreneur run with that idea for a calendar. And if it’s profitable, the nice thing is that there is a plethora of material to work with for decades to come.

Timothy Kincaid

December 29th, 2011

Richard, thanks. I needed a good chuckle today.


December 30th, 2011

Calling gay men “sissies” is offensive. But you can be sure that if some self-described transgressive queer collective put out a calendar calling us sissies, it would be embraced as cutting-edge progressive thought.

BTB should ask itself why it mindlessly uses the term “LGBT” and why it tolerates terms like “queer”. LGBT does not describe any real community, but is just a political term contrived in order to lump gay men and lesbians in with transsexuals and crossdressers so that we can all fight a war on gender norms. “Queer” is used in the same manner, to define gays as inherently marginal and subversive to mainstream norms.

I don’t think we should accept queer or LGBT any more than we accept the use of the term “sissies” by this right wing Christian jerk.

Reed Boyer

December 30th, 2011

Theo – I don’t think BTB “mindlessly” uses “LGBT” or “queer.” I think, in the case of the former, that BTB is following standards of AP Style.

LGBT, GLBT, LBGTQ (and the other inclusive alphabet soup terms) I find difficult to pronounce. I’d just learned to rattle off “JeeYellBeeTee” when suddenly the lesbians moved to the front, and “EllGeeBeeTee” tends to sound like a sandwich.

As to “queer,” I use it myself fairly often – and not pejoratively. It has neutral and positive meanings (rare, odd, strange, unusual, unconventional) as well as the one employed in that slaughterous form of dodge-ball I endured in middle school: “smear the queer.”

And when discussing anti-gay propaganda tactics, “smear the queer” and/or “fear the queer” are accurate and concise (as is the popular “stranger danger”).

Ben M

December 30th, 2011

@andrewdb – There are tones of gay erotica (and normal gay and lesbian fiction too) on the nook, and it seems to be growing.

Timothy (TRiG)

December 30th, 2011

I had a problem with the Exodus International iPhone app. I had no problem with the Exodus International Android app. That’s because Apple strongly controls the iPhone marketplace: you cannot produce an iPhone app without Apples’s approval. So Apple was offering an explicit endorsement of Exodus. The Android marketplace is not similarly controlled, and Google has a name for allowing all sorts of content. As long as it’s legal, Google won’t censor it, from extreme porn to hate speech.

Here, I see Amazon acting more like Google than like Apple. If it has an ISBN and is in print, Amazon will stock it. The do not do content control. They do not claim to do content control. They do not offer any endorsement, express or implied, of the message contained in the products they sell. And that’s fine by me.

I have various disagreements with Amazon, but this calender (and far worse hate speech besides) is, in my opinion, not an issue. I’d complain to the publisher.

(That said, I cannot find this calender at Amazon. Does it have an ISBN? Is there any other way to find it?)


Timothy (TRiG)

December 30th, 2011

If we’re looking for “alphabet soup” terms, I prefer QUILTBAG, because it’s pronounceable. But ignore Theo. He’s just claiming that trans* people and gay people have nothing in common. It’s a hobby-horse of his that he enjoys trolling on.

That said,

we can all fight a war on gender norms

Yes. Good idea. Gender norms are oppressive for lots of people.


Timothy Kincaid

December 30th, 2011


If you look carefully, I think that you will find that BTB does not mindlessly use any term. When we mean gay we say “gay” and when we use LGBT it is because that term is appropriate. Usually, at least

(and I’ll have the El GBT on rye, hold the mayo)

Timothy (TRiG)

December 31st, 2011


The el? Isn’t that tautology?


Priya Lynn

December 31st, 2011

Theo said “I don’t think we should accept queer or LGBT any more than we accept the use of the term “sissies” by this right wing Christian jerk.”.

There you have it folks, calling someone LGBT is an insult just like calling them a sissy ; )


December 31st, 2011

“LGBT” and “sissy” are both morally equivalent slurs? Really, Theo? Wanna expound on that?

TRIG, Amazon pulled the calender today, after receiving a ton of complaints. That’s democracy and capitalism in action. Nothing wrong with that. King has a right to make his calender and Amazon has a right to allow him to soil their good name or not allow him to.

And I personally was willing to give King a bit of the benefit of the doubt with the calender title, thinking maybe he was being “shocking” or inappropriate as part of his shtick but didn’t really mean it, a la comedians like Sarah Silverman or Anthony Jeselnik, but then he wrote this today on his Facebook page, leaving no doubt that he’s a bigoted piece of trash:

“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. I SAID I WAS A SISSY UP FRONT. Ironic who the real bullies are isn’t it? Let’s see if I get a call from Oprah’s people or even Anderson Cooper…

… 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?”

Gotta love it that they’re still shocked when we stand up for ourselves, mistaking self-defense for “bullying”.


January 1st, 2012

Nobody seems to be picking up on the cute nick. Surely a guy who does silly calenders can claim to be just “Joe King”, i.e., Just Joking?
If people kept that in mind, I think they could on with their 2012 without a corny calender as a stumbling block.


January 1st, 2012

Of the 12 editorial cartoons reprinted for this calendar, I actually find two mildly funny, two quite offensive, and the rest utterly forgettable. The Paul Revere one, however, doesn’t seem to be among the ones I saw.


January 3rd, 2012

I can’t find the calendar on Amazon’s site, so they may have pulled it as well.

I see that the author has wasted no time making himself out to be a poor, pitiful victim and claiming that “the gay activist movement” is simply trying to get all of his work scrubbed from Wiping Their Ass with The Flag.


January 3rd, 2012

Happy New Year everyone. I wanted to respond to a few of the comments above regarding LGBT and this blog’s use of the term:

@ Tim Kincaid:

Respectfully, I think that BTB does use the term “LGBT” without really thinking through whether the term is appropriate. Just looking at the first page of the blog, you describe the Ugandan “kill the gays” bill as a “proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people.” The proposed legislation in Uganda does not deal with transgenderism and does not institute the death penalty for them unless they engage in one of the prohibited homosexual acts.

And a few pages back, BTB says about Frank Kameny:

“In Eric Marcus’s compendium of oral histories, Making History, Kameny described the events that led him to a lifetime of LGBT advocacy . . .”

What follows is a long quote from Marcus’s book, which deals with Kameny’s advocacy for homosexuals and which says absolutely nothing about “LGBT” advocacy. Indeed, it is ridiculous to assert that Kameny engaged in a lifetime of LGBT advocacy, if for no other reason that no one had dreamt up the absurd concept until the mid-1990s.

That’s just 2 recent examples. Admit it, you use “LGBT” in lieu of “gay” because there is a reflexive PC trigger in your head that tells you that is the term to use, even when it manifestly makes no sense to do so.

@Reed Boyer:
I appreciate that folks wanted to “reclaim” the word queer and started using it in the early 1990s. I don’t impugn their motives, but after 20 years, it is abundantly clear that the word remains every bit a slur as it was in 1990. Nothing has been reclaimed and, as was seen in the recent controversy in Troy, MI, the continued use of the word only gives cover to the homophobes. Others use the word not to reclaim it but to recast gays as a kind of innately subversive agent, always in conflict with the norm. A certain type of well-situated urban gay takes great joy in playing at being a rebel, but it is gay young people and gays in rural areas who bear the cost of this nonsense.

I oppose LGBT not because I am anti-trans. I support 99% of what trans activists want. But I don’t appreciate gays being forced into a singular “community” with people who are largely not gay and who are not defined by sexual orientation. It is really unfair to gay and lesbian youth to tell them that they are, in some defining way, in conflict with their gender and are inherently linked to crossdressing and transsexuality. And it is unfair to trans women that they are in some sense really just fem gay men and trans men that they are in some sense just masculine lesbians. LGBT disrespects everyone.

Saying that gay and trans are different is no different from acknowledging that the US and Canada are different countries. It isn’t anti-Canadian or anti-American to state the obvious.


January 4th, 2012

Theo, you remind me of an old man yelling at clouds. Everyone knows gay and trans are different. LGBT is just a convenient shorthand because most of our goals converge. It’s needlessly pedantic to argue the point. And as far as “queer”, it’s not a slur because most people don’t use it as a slur. The fact that some people still use it as a slur is irrelevant. Those same people use “gay” and “homosexual” as slurs, too.

Priya Lynn

January 4th, 2012

Theo said “I oppose LGBT not because I am anti-trans. I support 99% of what trans activists want. But I don’t appreciate gays being forced into a singular “community” with people who are largely not gay and who are not defined by sexual orientation.”.

No one is being forced into any community. You don’t want to be part of the LGBT community you’re welcome to stay out of it. What makes us a community is not necessarily shared orientation (although it may be) what makes us a community is shared oppression for differing from sexual norms.

Theo said “It is really unfair to gay and lesbian youth to tell them that they are, in some defining way, in conflict with their gender and are inherently linked to crossdressing and transsexuality.”.

No one in the LGBT community is telling them that. Just as a community fighting racism may have both whites and blacks is not telling black people they are inherently white the LGBT community does not say all members are identical.

Theo said “And it is unfair to trans women that they are in some sense really just fem gay men and trans men that they are in some sense just masculine lesbians.”. No one in the LGBT community is telling us that. Just as a community fighting racism may have both whites and blacks is not telling black people they are inherently white the LGBT community does not say all members are identical.

Theo said “LGBT disrespects everyone.”.

Nonsense. You choose to feel disrespected because some anti-gays believe all gay men want to be women. Your problem is with them, not LGBT terminology. If you spent half as much time fighting such anti-gays as you do the good guys you might have some effect on such attitudes.


January 4th, 2012

I see that Amazon has removed recent negative reviews for one of King’s other calendars, “The Bestest Generation.” How’s that for the poor, persecuted Mr. King?

Timothy Kincaid

January 4th, 2012


Admit it, you use “LGBT” in lieu of “gay” because there is a reflexive PC trigger in your head that tells you that is the term to use, even when it manifestly makes no sense to do so.

I didn’t author either of those pieces so the reflexive PC trigger in my head must have leaped right out and taken over someone else’s head (as often as we say it, it still seems difficult for people to grasp that Jim, Rob and I truly are distinct individuals). However, I do think that that your examples are useful in that they will illustrate my point.

If you are speaking solely of the acronym itself, then you are correct that Kameny didn’t work “for LGBT rights”.

However, if you are speaking of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people, then I think your objection fails. At the origins of his work, Kameny was supporting homophile rights or rights for homosexuals. But that term at that time was inclusive of bisexuals and transgender people. There was little legal or social distinction between bisexual and gay people (to the extent that either was public), and transgender people were not conceptualized. All of these subcategories were “sexual perverts” and all of these categories were within the realm of Kameny’s work. He himself may not have distinguished T as a separate category or work specifically for transgender rights, but he did see transgender people as part of his community. Although I probably would speak of Kameny as a gay pioneer, to deliberately leave T out of LGBT when speaking of Kameny would be less accurate than deliberately including it.

The same is even more true in Uganda, where there is no distinction made between LG and B and T when it comes to the law or social treatment. No one says, “Oh, you are transgender rather than gay. Well in that case you’re just fine.”

In these instances, LGBT is a perfectly accurate term.

At BTB we do not all have the same voice. I seldom use LGBT even when it could be accurate, choosing “gay community” instead. Others prefer LGBT. But the use of one over the other is only objectionable when it is inaccurate.

Donny D.

January 5th, 2012

Reed Boyer, Ryan, Priya Lynn, Timothy Kincaid and Timothy (TRiG):

Good responses to Theo’s “gay separatist” posts. I for one don’t feel oppressed or “concerned for the [gay] children” by the association of bisexuals, lesbians or gay men with transgender people.

“Joe King” seems to be something between a jerk and a scumbag.


January 5th, 2012


Your argument only underscores how nonsensical LGBT is. You say that we are a community because of our “shared oppression for differing from sexual norms.” I am familiar with your writing and I know that you know the difference between sex and gender, so I can only assume that you are deliberately fudging when you talk of our “differing from sexual norms.” Gay people differ from conventional sexual norms. Trans people, who can have any sexual orientation and who are mostly heterosexual are not by definition in conflict with sexual norms. The fact that you have to fudge only further suggests that LGBT doesn’t have an honest leg to stand on.

But leaving this aside, let’s take your point that LGBT is like “a community fighting racism”. That is a community defined only by what it opposes. That is not a community. There is no “anti-racism” community. There are discrete communities who ally themselves over issues of racism, but that does not make them a “people.” I have never ever read of anyone referring to “anti-racism people”, but I do read all the time about “LGBT people.” Clearly more is suggested than a common opposition to certain cultural or political biases.

But if we are to be one “people” defined by a negative, then Kincaid and all gay people will have to accept that they are in a singular community with straight male nurses and ballet dancers and women cops and soldiers and tens of millions of straight, non-trans people. Apparently, we have been in a community with Muammar Gaddafi’s straight female bodyguards all this time and I never knew it.
@Donny D:
I am not separatist b/c separatists seek to divide what is whole, to take what is one and take it apart. LGBT does not exist in the real world. I just think that words should reflect reality, not the passions of a few low-IQ activists from the mid-1990s.

Nice ageism there, bro. But I don’t mind it as I am probably younger than you. As much as you want to think that LGBT is some sort of new term that is used by youth, it isn’t. It is dated and old, invented by people who are now getting prostate exams annually. Listen to gay young people and, except for the full-time activists, you won’t hear them using LGBT or LGBTQ in ordinary conversation. The Millenials see right through the BS.

Kameny didn’t work for the right of transsexuals to have surgery or to modify their birth certificates or for transsexuals and cross-dressers to be protected from discrimination in the first gay rights bill circa 1973 nor did he fight for any trans issue as we understand those issues today. And this would be true even into the 60s and 70s when the concepts of “transseuxal” and “transvestite” were understood to be distinct from “homosexual.”

The fact that the overwhelmingly homophobic society of the 1950s and early 1960s lumped us together doesn’t mean that Kameny did. On the contrary, he fought the stereotype of gay male as wannabe-female. So to say that he spent a lifetime fighting for LGBT rights is completely off base. LGBT promotes a linkage that he fought against.

Timothy Kincaid

January 5th, 2012

I treated Theo’s criticism as though it were a literal complaint about misuse of terms. Evidently I erred.

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