Barnes & Noble Pulls Offensive 'Sissy' Calendar From Online Store

Two days ago, Andy broke the story of Christian cartoonist "Joe King's" bizarre "I'm Not Gay, I'm Just a Sissy" calendar, which was for sale at Amazon and The calendar, which promised "12 Months of Sexual Confusion, Not That There's Anything Wrong With That," proposed to make buyers laugh by making fun of straight-identified men with "sissy" characteristics. Or so it seems. The whole exercise was a bit of a muddle, frankly -- the February illustration was entitled "We've All Got AIDS," and an illustration purporting to make fun of sissy Oscar night parties was used to illustrate November.

Now, after complaints from a great number of Towleroad readers and countless others, Barnes & Noble has ceased selling the thing. is still at it.

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  1. Yes! One done and one to go. And, just to make clear, this is not censorship or suppression of free speech. This is the power of public opinion (and wallets) in letting marketers know they've made a mistake.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 29, 2011 12:11:01 PM

  2. Going to the amazon link is worth it just to see "Customers who viewed this item also viewed..." HELLO!

    Posted by: John | Dec 29, 2011 12:18:13 PM

  3. Thank you for that, John. I needed a laugh. I clicked on them to add to the count of customers who also viewed it. Also,

    Posted by: JT | Dec 29, 2011 12:21:04 PM

  4. Who's the target audience for this? It's too offensive for gay men (and also, *any intelligent person!*), and it's too gay for straight men . . . It's offensive, totally, but mostly it's just dumb.

    So, what I'm saying is, it's perfect for a Marcus Bachmann stocking stuffer.

    Posted by: finkles2000 | Dec 29, 2011 12:32:30 PM

  5. He used an illustration of Oscar parties for the month of November?! Everyone knows the Oscars happen in February. Hello!

    Posted by: peterparker | Dec 29, 2011 1:03:27 PM

  6. The skirmish has spread to HuffPo:

    I had to stop reading the follow-up comments. Too many lame-brains online today.

    Seriously: What is with Amazon? I'm all for free speech. I also believe that a company has a right to stock merchandise that aligns with the company's (purported) values. Amazon's decision to peddle this calendar reflects very badly on them.

    How many angry reviews will to take (close to 700 at last count) before Amazon gives this calendar the hook?

    Posted by: Lucien | Dec 29, 2011 1:05:50 PM

  7. This reminds me of when Amazon had an electronic book promoting pedophilia for sale last year, and they defended the decision by claiming free speech. That people should have the right to choose if they wanted to buy the book or not without that being taken away. It took over 3000 complaints and a widespread boycott for Amazon to drop the e book.

    So I'll be curious if Amazon does the right thing here and drops this trash, or if they allow this drama to linger longer than need be. They look bad for not showing the common sense to disassociate themselves with egregious behavior for the sake of "free speech".

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 29, 2011 1:31:36 PM

  8. Egregious content, not behavior, excuse me.

    We simply have to continue to keep the pressure on and not allow this story to sink quietly.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 29, 2011 1:33:32 PM

  9. No one would have given a rat's ass about this if you didn't call attention to it. So what. Really. At least one person got it right...who's the intended target audience for such a thing? No one but other why draw attention to it? He has a right to produce this, others a right to purchase it, and yet others a right to not like it and not purchase it. Let him produce crappy calendars for the choir; this is a great promotional piece for this waste of paper.

    Posted by: benjamin | Dec 29, 2011 1:44:46 PM

  10. I don't think censoring this fool is the answer. Like all "Chritian comedy", it's unfunny trash that wasn't exactly flying off the shelves anyway. Just let it stay in it's own vile little corner of amazon and be ignored.

    Posted by: SebastianQ | Dec 29, 2011 1:49:14 PM

  11. Which month features Marcus Bachmann?

    Posted by: gregory brown | Dec 29, 2011 2:02:12 PM

  12. sebastion you obviously have no clue what censorship is

    When the gov starts burning books then cry your river of concern. Till then the market is speaking and Barnes & Noble heard and responded appropriately

    Posted by: say what | Dec 29, 2011 2:37:10 PM

  13. Lucien:

    Amazon isn't making a statement of its values. It is stocking a product that it thinks people will buy. It is making a statement that it likes to make a profit, which is the point of a business.

    Personally, I'm not going to boycott Amazon for making something available to people who may want to buy it. I don't agree with it, or those who would buy it, but to me, it's not worth giving up the amount of shopping I do with Amazon.

    Newsflash people: Amazon, B&N, et al. also sell books about reparative therapy, or books that claim homosexuality is a sin or disorder. Gonna boycott them all for that too?

    Posted by: Jack | Dec 29, 2011 2:48:35 PM

  14. Guess what, Amazon (and presumably B&N) also sells copies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Mein Kampf, several books on Gay Conversion Therapy, and numerous other books you'd probably find offensive.

    So what.

    If you don't like it, don't buy it. There are way more constructive things to put your energy into rather than getting in a tizzy over a calendar that probably a very very few people are going to buy anyway.

    Posted by: Tom | Dec 29, 2011 3:30:43 PM

  15. Thanks Andy. You've made the gay community look like the intolerant ones. Way to go.

    Posted by: Markus | Dec 29, 2011 3:35:22 PM

  16. explain that with intelligent logic and reason, "Markus"

    how do we look "intolerant"? For having very vocal and specific objections to a prejudiced calendar whose creator reveals his own bigotry in his "rebuttals" to the criticism?

    Neither Andy, not those who have indeed condemned this calendar, make the gay community look intolerant. it's actually guys like you that make the community look like its populated by wimpy doormats without spines.

    you gotta love the Backseat Drivers of Life - complaining, from inside the closet, about how others make "gays look _____"

    how about you grow a pair, come out, and represent yourself instead of complaining that others aren't representing you?

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 29, 2011 3:45:02 PM

  17. comparing this to Mein Kampf?

    Intellectual Honesty, please. Mein Kampf, like "Triumph of the Will" has a very important place in history as a reminder, a glimpse and an insight into a horrific period in the 20th century and are, alas, a part of our collective human story.

    anyone that can't understand this is an idiot.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 29, 2011 4:00:13 PM

  18. How about a calendar that says, "I'm not black, I just like fried chicken and watermelon."? That's OK too, right?

    Posted by: Jack M | Dec 29, 2011 4:24:17 PM

  19. Wow Little Kiwi you come off as a very bitter and judgmental person.

    Why do you assume I am in the closet? I used my real name. My last name is Taylor. You're the one that is hiding behind a fake name. I have been out for 22 years. I was in a same sex relationship for 12 years. We were married at my parents house and all our invited relatives showed up and supported us. I'm quite open with my sexuality in my work and private life. I make an effort to represent the community in a positive way.

    The reason we are coming off as intolerant in this instance is people are trying to silence another person's free speech. The first thing my dad said after I came out, after he said he loved me, is "Don't expect me to stop telling gay jokes". If you can't laugh at yourself then all hope is lost.

    What bugs me here is Andy jumped on this without being able to read the calendar. In all the pictures of the calendar on the net only the titles are large enough to read. He ran with the story without having the full context. The "We've All Got AIDS" was a campaign by Calvin Klein. The cartoon was used in the newspapers that same year with no problems so I imagine the cartoon is not offensive. But again we don't know because no one has bothered to purchase it to get the full story. Also the picture on the cover is a self portrait of the cartoonist. He obviously has a sense of humor something a lot of gays apparently are missing.

    Posted by: Markus | Dec 29, 2011 4:40:45 PM

  20. Markus, pay Kiwi no mind. His modus operandi is to call everyone who disagrees with him a closet case who is trying to suck up to daddy or republicans or whatever.

    He has no intellectual rebuttals to anything, only insults to hurl.

    Posted by: Jack | Dec 29, 2011 4:45:28 PM

  21. Yeah the funniest thing about the Amazon link - is that the Christian who purchase this masterpiece of humor also bough a lot naked men calendars! You gotta love freedom of expression.

    Posted by: jaragon | Dec 29, 2011 4:51:04 PM

  22. and ten bucks says you can't intelligently articulate how this is "his freedom of speech being silenced", because it simply isn't.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 29, 2011 5:04:41 PM

  23. @ Jack -- If I owned a small bookstore, I would feel personally responsible for my inventory. And while I understand that businesses exist to make money, I know that I, personally, couldn't use the fact that *some people will buy anything* to justify stocking my shelves with just *anything.* In good conscience, I couldn't do it.

    Would I find it easier to peddle the Sissy Calendar if my store was the size of, where so few people are likely to search for a Sissy Calendar? For me, the answer would still be no. (Admittedly, I'm the world's worst businessman.)

    I know more about Amazon today than I did yesterday. Maybe I'll continue to shop there......maybe I won't. I'm still trying to untangle my thoughts about it.

    Posted by: Lucien | Dec 29, 2011 5:07:04 PM

  24. "and ten bucks says you can't intelligently articulate how this is his freedom of speech being silenced, because it simply isn't."

    What we are doing here is no different than book burning. I hate when bigots use the term slippery slope against gays but the term fits here. Where does the censorship end? By forcing companies to not sell this product we are suppressing Joe King's right to free speech in America.

    Posted by: Markus | Dec 29, 2011 5:27:37 PM

  25. how is this in any way comparable to burn burning? don't say "this is the same", intelligently articulate your position, Markus.

    how in way is this a suppression of free speech? articulate intelligently, if you can.

    i don't have terribly high hopes. after all, when you came out your dad felt a need to let you know that he would not stop making gay jokes. when I came out my dad felt a need to let me know that he would always support not just me, but the LGBT community. it was a catalyst for him to be a visible and vocal advocate for LGBT people. your dad, on the other hand, needed to let you know that he'd still crack jokes about gay people. that's a shame. it's clearly messed you up royally.

    take a good look at what a real father looks like, "Markus". but you have my sympathies. if i had your father as my own, i'd likely need to live in an imaginary world where i could pretend he respected me, too.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Dec 29, 2011 5:33:21 PM

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