Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call: Is Kenny Be the worst in the world?

The Best and Worst of National News for July according to GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, is out, and Kenny Be -- yes, Kenny Be,Westword's sensitive and insightful staff cartoonist -- is on the hit list. Here's the story from GLAAD's website:


The Denver Westword Prints Anti-LGBT Slur; Allows Abusive Commentary to Follow

In a July 22 comic, The Denver Westword published a cartoon in its 'Kenny Be' series that used the anti-gay slur f*g. The comic depicts a series of camper archetypes, one of which illustrates a type of camper who spends exorbitant amounts of money on camping gear -- a person the comic calls a "Gear f*g." The Westword also featured the comic on its website which prompted online users to attack any reader who expressed concern with the defamatory term. Numerous comments are showcased including, "f*g," "queer," "priss," "limp wrist," and one user even advocated violence against another. "You deserve whatever terrible things happen to you and I have no sympathy."

The site includes a link to the offending comic -- from Kenny's two-page spread on camping -- and also "urges you to contact The Denver Westword and express your concern over its decision to publish an anti-gay slur and the subsequent defamatory online responses. This kind of language creates a hostile climate for LGBT people and contributes to putting our community in harm's way."

Here's a faster address than the one GLAAD provided: [email protected]. Or just post your comment below.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun