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 WORST

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.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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