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On Ratfist, Doug TenNapel, And Why I Won't Be Reading

Ratfist

Back in January Digital Lit brought to our attention the webcomic Ratfist, which is being authored by the creator of Earthworm Jim, Doug TenNapel. I had been reading the webcomic for a while, and generally enjoying it, though as my posting on this site has shown, have been rather preoccupied with settling my life here in Berlin for the past while.

Therefore, I was rather curious when one of our readers, Chris I., sent me a message bringing to my attention to this particular comic page. The comic in itself has nothing particularly interesting about it to my eyes, largely because I am behind and have no clue what is happening in the story. What is interesting instead is how the comments section unfolds.

The particular, telling thread is started by 21stCentury, a non-American liberal, who brings up questions of liberal politics and questioning TenNapel's own seemingly conservative ones. As these things do, the question of same-sex marriage popped up, and this led to a whole load of myself just resting my palm against my forehead and shaking my head. No outrage, I've seen this all too often before. The back and forth goes something like this:

21st: Do you honestly believe that every country save for yours is some repressive autocracy devoid of freedom?"

DTN: Just compared to ours. We kick ass.

21st:"Christianity: 78.5%"

DTN: Again, why we kick ass.

21st: "You know, if you don't have will and die right now, your wife would inherit your stuff."

DTN: Neither could my gardener, but I shouldn't have to marry him to work those details out. I don't have a problem with anyone visiting anyone in the hospital... but we both know this isn't about hospital visits.

21st: "What argument do you have specifically against letting two adult men who love each other marry?"

DTN: The same argument I have against letting a man take a dump in the ladies room. And office appropriate for one sex isn't automatically appropriate for another, no matter how much a man loves taking a dump in the ladies room.

21st: "Lastly, i'm at least thankful you're not equating gays to pedophiles or zoophiles. That's more respectful than some."

DTN: Give me some time all I'll see what I can do. You realize this conversation is going to be used by your people to justify a permanent boycott of my work. They would probably use this argument to justify me not being able to visit anyone in any hospital while they're at it. THis argument isn't about laws and marriage, it's about cultural witch hunts. THere are a lot worse things than not being able to marry your same sex.

21st: "Right now, some states are, in fact, fighting to remove rights from people. Is that right?"

DTN: America has thousands of people's rights taken away every day. Take a number.

Deep breath.

There's also some derailing above that about polygamy (my personal belief? What's wrong with that? Why are we denigrating it? What does that have to do with this particular argument?). However, after all that, I just want to link to Derailing for Dummies (particularly the Conspiracy and Agenda subheadings), throw in a measure of Oppression Olympics, and just be done with the argument right then and there, because seriously? There's also a lot of what I read as jingoism, but that may vary from person to person (as a dual citizen of the U.S. and Germany, and constantly shuffled between the two, the ra-ra Country ra sentiment has always struck me as... quaint).

Now, Mr. TenNapel talks about boycotts, and that's not what I'm calling for anyone to do. I enjoyed Earthworm Jim when I was a wee one, though I've never revisited it. The comic? I will stop visiting it, but whether anyone here who reads it does is up to them. Having the information (even if I read the webcomic regularly, I don't necessarily read comments) is something I believe people should have to make their own decisions; for which you may want to read more of the thread to get a gist of the full extent of the conversation.

111 Comments

Raphael said:

What a dick.

Leo said:

Oddly enough: the reason i saw this post was because TenNapel retweeted it.

(note: i dislike the artist's opinions on some stuff like religion and gay marriage, but i'm able to separate the art from the artist, as pretentious and neo-hipster that might sound...)

AJ said:

Actually Leo, most people can't do that these days. I wouldn't say that is pretentious at all, I'd say it is commendable.

Rub said:

This is really sad :(

Shin Gallon said:

I love having my relationship with my boyfriend compared to someone taking a dump in the wrong restroom. How utterly fantastic. I'm never supporting anything he makes ever again, and retroactively disavowing my affinity for Earthworm Jim.

Noah said:

I will never understand the whole idea of "He doesn't agree with our beliefs, so let's boycott!" Isn't that the same as when the State boycotts gay marriage because of their beliefs?

You're starting to sound like your enemies.

And, I agree with Leo. Remove the artist from his or her work.

Relationships generally do end up with one person shitting on the other.

Noah said:

I will never understand the whole idea of "He doesn't agree with our beliefs, so let's boycott!" Isn't that the same as when the State boycotts gay marriage because of their beliefs?

You're starting to sound like your enemies.

And, I agree with Leo. Remove the artist from his or her work.

Relationships generally do end up with one person shitting on the other.

21stCentury said:

Hey, wow, first time my comments get quoted like that, I'm happy you took time to write this up, but a boycott won't work. It really won't. If i did like you, those comments would never have been written.

Everyone, you shouldn't boycott, if you think i raised some good points, emulate me, discuss your points and argue them logically and respectfully. By boycotting, you're only giving up. Seriously, don't boycott Ratfist for the personal views of the artist. If you disagree with them, leave comments, send him e-mails, TALK TO HIM. That's what i do and it works well.

screwdestiny said:

Why did I read those comments. You didn't even pick out the best parts. "It's not about your rights, it's about how my rights will be over if I extend the same rights to you! It's about my right to be an asshole and to smugly point out you can't get angry at me wanting to deny you rights when my denying you rights make you wish I knew what it was like not to have those rights", JFC, what an asshole. But hey, at least he has gay friends. And neighbors. And family.

You know, I would separate the artist from his views, but since he can't separate his religious beliefs from the non-beliefs and rights of others, I don't see a reason to do so.

Cris said:

I think Leo is spot-on. If the comic amuses you, why should what the writer of the comic believes have any bearing on your continued readership? Nobody's going to have the same opinion on everything. Letting the opinions of others dictate what you will and will not read is, in my book, not a good system to live by.

VorpalBunny said:

Just for clarification: I choose not to read because I, personally, don't want to support his work. I have a glut of webcomics, and am constantly shifting them in and out. If something like this comes along, it makes the decision easier for me.

While other people may be able to divorce the artist from their work, not everyone can (I will remember it everytime I read, and asking me to not to is futile--my world is not all people who agree with me, and in my leisure time I will make those decisions of what I will consume). I don't call for a boycott because I realize this, but I have made my personal decision. I won't judge people who read his work, and solely reserve my appraisal for the artist in question. Read, don't read, engage, don't engage. Make your own decision.

Much like what happened with that one game which was based off an Orson Scott Card world, we ended up recommending not a boycott, but if you wanted to buy the game, and had the extra funds, put an equivalent amount of money to a local LGBT organization.

Kanothae said:

As long as Doug TenNapel can separate his views from his work - i.e. not use it as a converting and moralizing medium, I'm good with his comic. It's funny, interesting, it touches important problems.

The comment he made was downright mean and it upset me. I'm gonna hold him a grudge for it for a bit, I suppose. Kudos for actually encouraging discussion, no matter what his own views are, though.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

As plenty of people have said already, Leo's pretty much got it right. I can separate the art from the artist and enjoy it for what it is, and I think people usually should. Of course, there are those so bad that you'd prefer not to support their work, which is fine. But I raise another point.

Yes, he is Christian, and he has Christian values. Why is this stirring up such a shitstorm? Are the personal beliefs of some old man making a webcomic really that important? Are people not entitled to believe whatever they want, and do what they think is right? If those beliefs ever lead him to do commit sort of (hate?) crime, then that's a matter for the law to handle. But on their own, what use is there in getting worked up or honestly even offended over someone's beliefs? The idea that one should be open-minded and accepting of all flavors of people is no more "correct" than TenNapel's view. It's just the one that people assume will create less conflict.

The fact that the man is willing to be open about his beliefs, but isn't using them to hurt anyone, should be applauded as much as someone coming out of the closet, in my humble opinion. Either way, it's just revealing an aspect about one's personality that will needlessly offend those too close-minded to accept a differing opinion. And if you can't accept that he believes what he believes and think he should be flamed, then I say you might want to ask yourself how you're any better than he is.

21stCentury said:

Kanothae, if it upset you, maybe you should tell him. Maybe you should leave a comment to that effect. In my experience, some people changed their minds on gay marriage and went beyond long-held views. Sometimes, it's simply by being able to see things from another point of view.

This is an opportunity here. This is a man who claimed that it would go against his code of ethics to silence the opposition, so we've no reason to not try to reason with him, no?

I know I'll keep at it because it's something I like doing. Arguing is something I enjoy very much. You never know, I might lead him to change his mind. ;)

Tiitha said:

Well, the point of the page is to tell people how it isn't fair for the government to make choices for us by making things illegal, yet Doug turns around and says that having the choice of being married as gays should still be illegal. I know he's Christian and Christians usually oppose gay marriage, but at the same time it's rather contradicting.

I will still be reading his comics because I enjoy his art and even though I don't entirely agree with him, I've learned how to keep my opinions to myself and just move on.

Nexus said:

I'm sorry, separating the art from the artist is supposed to be comendable?

You're ignoring the bad stuff just so you can keep enjoying the good stuff.
That doesn't strike me as a particularly good thing.
More like sticking your head in the sand.

Dns said:

@Nexus But where does it end? I mean, should I make sure the guy whom I pay to shovel the driveway supports gay marriage? What about my insurance broker? The person who delivers my newspaper? My barista at Starbucks?

I figure if the person isn't in a position to actually affect LGBT rights - like a politician - it shouldn't matter.

Having said that, I can see how it can be a greyer area because artists are so individually connected to the work they do.

But by the same argument, a lot of the art of historical eras is created by people who hold views that would be considered narrow-minded by today's standards. Should the poetry, paintings, literature of classical eras be discarded for that reason? If not, where's the line drawn... after Oscar Wilde? The beginning of the 20th century? The 50s? The 70s?

I guess, ultimately, I have to believe there's a better solution than a cycle of marginalization - of homophobes trying to marginalize our rights and we trying to economically marginalize them in turn. I don't know what the true solution is, but I'm sure that ostracizing people is not the first step.

snicks said:

Frankly, I'm appalled at the attitude of most of the sommenters here. "He draws good, so i'm just going to put my fingers in my ears and go 'la-la-la' when mention of his anti-gay remarks come up."

Nexus is correct, you are sticking your heads in the sand.

Dns, we're not talking about someone in the past, we're talking about someone in the here and now, and we can do something about it in the here and now.

We don't yield the power that those who seek to marginalize our rights do. But we DO have the ability to speak with our wallets and our voices. Until someone does come up with the "true solution," are we supposed to do nothing?

Shin Gallon said:

I don't shop at Target for the same reasons I don't eat at Chik-Fil-A or vote for Republicans. I don't support people that actively fight against my rights. You can call it "separating the work from the man" all you want, but I don't actively support bigots.

Gamescook said:

I wish someone would punch him in the nose. He makes ONE popular game, and he becomes a conservative overflowing with "every-man-for-themselves" jackass-ery.

Noah said:

@snicks

It's easy to say that with something like a webcomic where it makes little difference in the world. But, if you could only get internet from a company with owners that specifically hated whoever you are, I bet you'd still be browsing the internet now.

He didn't say he hated people that were gay. He said he didn't support gay marriage. I don't support marriage at all. Art should have little to do with the person in question. Banksy breaks laws constantly. His art is amazing. Are you going to make that an exception even though he so willingly disregards the law? Is it okay because you disregard those laws to make an exception?

If his comic specifically said in the work that gays are terrible, whatever, I could understand. He doesn't, though.

Bending ideas in life to fit everyone isn't always a good thing. While I do think homosexuals should be able to marry (same thing with people and animals or objects), take for example bending schools so no child gets left behind. Instead of the best being able to be better, everyone has to slag behind.

Marriage was originally made for men and women. While his metaphor was crude (though, I do have to admit that I laughed), just because he disagrees with you doesn't make him a bad person. I like my coffee black, but I'm not going to stop going to a coffee shop just because they have flavors to choose from.

Noah said:

@Shin Gallon

I'm asexual, and you know the people I have gotten the most flack from were those in the LGBT community. Does that mean I don't support them getting rights? No. I just know that there are horrible people from all walks of life and communities.

I'd never support the art of someone just because it conformed to my beliefs. If it sucks, it sucks. I'd also never boycott someone just because *they* disagree with my beliefs. I'm agnostic and I don't not eat at Chick-Fil-A because they're closed on Sundays. I don't eat there because it sucks.

Chain stores don't encourage local buying, and those people have a right to live just as much as anyone has the right to get married.

Doug TenNapel said:

"Gamescook said:
I wish someone would punch him in the nose."

I'd be fine with this so long as you didn't have an open sore on your knuckle.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Dns and Noah
I like you two. You're cool guys.

@Doug
Assuming that's really you, that's just hilarious that you're here, lol.

@Gamescook
I'm sorry, but what does Earthworm Jim have to do with his religious beliefs exactly? Did he convert after making the game just to piss you off? No, like everyone else, he had opinions that people didn't care about until his name became well-known, and he didn't back down or hide them just because some of those people would disagree.

But, y'know, punch him if you want to. In fact, make it a duel! :D

Doug TenNapel said:

I'm on this site because I'm a gay gamer. I mean, I consider myself a pretty happy guy and-- HEY! Wait a minute! You mean these guys are...

I mostly posted that one against Gamescook because the response to his threat of violence by people against hate crimes is deafening silence.

I read all of these comments and other than the horrifying totalitarianism that is frankly stereotypical at this point, am interested in the opinions posted here.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Doug
I see. Yeah, most webcomic artists I know tend to avoid letting their personal beliefs on sensitive topics like this out in the open. So, I can't say if it's a smart choice or not, but you've definitely got balls, Mr. TenNapel. I certainly get a laugh out of how easily offended some are by an individual's opinions, as if being somewhat well-known makes your opinions worth more than anyone else's.

I'll admit, at times I feel as though the comic gets just a little preachy (regardless of whether or not I agree with what you say), but I'm hoping that all this build-up means that the opinions presented will be more meaningful to the story by the time it's over. I'd say not to let these people get to you, but I'm sure you already know that. Keep being awesome, good sir, and I trust you'll do well with it.

screwdestiny said:

Totalitarianism from those for gay marriage? When motions are put forth to legalize gay marriage, in comes those against it to demand a law in that in no uncertain terms should marriage be anything other than between one man and one woman while supporting it with a completely inaccurate and offensive media campaign. Other states follow suit to preemptively write laws explicitly banning gay marriage before a measure is even put forth to allow it - and to disregard the recognition of gay marriages performed in other states. And yet somehow wanting the bans and the re-definitions to stop is the example of horrifying totalitarianism? Totalitarianism is how the religious right continues to influence politics in this country.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

Yes, all religious people are very stupid and easily swayed by stupid media campaigns, I'm sure. Their beliefs are never their own, they are always the product of the media, right?

For the record, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lop4TokXmkU is every bit as stupid as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI .

Also, Doug has pretty much nothing to do with any of those things. He's just some guy who makes video games and comics.

12thGay said:

Boycotting isn't giving up. Fuck you and fuck him. He's not getting a motherfucking cent from me, ever.

Vote with your wallet.

Rosa said:

Nice to see the arist's sycophants show up.

The fact that the man is willing to be open about his beliefs, but isn't using them to hurt anyone, should be applauded as much as someone coming out of the closet, in my humble opinion. Either way, it's just revealing an aspect about one's personality that will needlessly offend those too close-minded to accept a differing opinion.

So if I'm racist and if asked admit that I hate black people and think they shouldn't be able to get, say, life insurance because of their increased susceptibility to heart disease and how much they loved fried chicken, that makes me some sort of fucking hero because I didn't stay "in the closet?" Herpaderp, it's okay so long as I'm not hanging people, right?

Admitting you're a douchebag doesn't make you not a douchebag, it just makes you an honest douchebag. So Doug gets points for honesty, and then loses them all for being a douchebag.

Wikibeast said:

Here's the deal with boycotting:

It makes perfect sense when relating to things that aren't supposed to be expressing or acting on personal, controversial ideology, like stores or banks or newspapers.

But the arts are THE place to express opinions. It's all part of the discussion of the human condition, and there's no discussion without different perspectives. Honestly, the liberal-dominated arts world of today desperately needs more of the opposing ideology.

As long as Tennapel is merely expressing his opinions, in this case through art, then please don't boycott him. Listen. Disagree. But as soon as he denies a service, say, refuses to sell to an LGBT person, then by all means, boycott him.

screwdestiny said:

@CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay


1) If they're the ones who make the media campaigns, obviously the beliefs are their own. Further, media campaigns really only have two reasons to exist: to inform supporters who already agree that there's an issue an organization wants to vote on and to sway those who haven't fully formed an opinion (and as such, probably aren't the most religiously faithful) towards their side.

2) Something being "every bit as stupid as" is not really an argument when you've began the whole thing by accusing one side of being it. What point is there to levy the complaint of totalitarianism against your opposer if your side is guilty of the same thing (unless you want to pretend they are not)?

3) It's cool Dough has pretty much nothing to do with the political machine behind putting an anti-gay marriage law in as many states as they can besides saying nothing as it chugs on by, but if he's going to cry victim of gay marriage supporters "opposing people who think differently until we concede to your own private moral belief system", I think it important to point out the ways in which his own private moral belief system is being forced upon those who think differently. If that whole concept of private moral belief systems being forced upon others really bothered him, you'd think he'd set an example. But no, he tells his opposers to set the example or rather, let the status quo continue.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Rosa
Nice to see that people can't just agree with an opinion without being accused of sucking up (which I figured would happen, considering the maturity of some commments). Also, your example is something that would endanger lives, which is different because you'd be (indirectly) harming people. But honestly, yeah, if you were racist then no one should really care, as long as you don't actually do anything harmful to black people. And I didn't say it makes you a hero. But I don't think coming out of the closet in this day and age makes you a hero, either.

If everyone you knew gave you all of their honest, uncensored opinions, chances are you'd think they're all douchebags for something. Unless you agree with them, in which care you're just the same kind of douchebag. But you're free to believe what you like, and it's only what you do with those beliefs that can make you a real douchebag. Doug makes video games and comics that don't emulate those beliefs, and only mentions them in blog form or in response to those who wish to discuss his opinions. Wow, what an asshole, right?

@Wikibeast
Thank you for making sense.

@screwdestiny
Here's the thing, though. In response to your third point, he isn't forcing people to agree with him. Sure, there are those who preach, but he isn't one of those people. He's a man giving his opinions to people who are going to his website and challenging his opinions. What example does he need to set? Why does anyone care what example he sets? And why does the fact that his personal opinions offend anyone excuse them from setting the example themselves?

As for your other points, I mostly agree. The point I intended to make is that those media campaigns are mostly meaningless in the long run, hardly changing anyone's opinions enough to really hurt the side they're against. And I wasn't pretending a thing, both sides are being very stupid because arguments tend to be pretty stupid in general. However, to lump every opinion into a "side" is a little unfair. Like I said, Doug himself hasn't told anyone what to believe. Just what he believes. On the other hand, those complaining are demanding he change his mind to conform to their expectations, as if his thinking differently is a crime on its own. Is that not the idiotic totalitarianism that we should try to avoid?

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

Actually, allow me to correct myself. I don't even *agree* with TenNapel's opinion. I just respect it for what it is.

Mike said:

Just my two cents, but the issue isn't whether he has an opinion or not, it has to do with the crude and disrespectful way he voiced them. If he had just said, "No, it's not something I agree with," then I could respect it and remain a consumer. But his comments are degrading and I choose now not to actively contribute to placing money in his pocket. You, any of you, could choose to do the same, or continue to support him. It's your choice. I think it's a tad ridiculous that people here are pretty much outright attacking each other for saying they're going to stop purchasing his products. No, people who have disagreeable opinions are not supposed to be denied rights and an income, but I don't have to be forced to supply it, either.

Rosa said:

You can agree with an opinion without being a sycophant. You can't, however, show up on a website you never frequent simply because a person you liked tweeted they were being discussed there specifically to defend them. That does make you a sycophant.

Of course, I'm sitting here and arguing with someone who says there's no problem with being a racist, so this is like talking to a proponent of intelligent design and expecting there to be two brain cells to rub together there.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion! And many of those opinions are objectively wrong and/or stupid. Why respect those ones? Especially when they're not expressed in any sort of respectful way? I'm sure not going to feel my heart brim with unshed, proud American tears over seeing someone stand up on the internets and say they don't think gays should get married. I mean, like, shine on, you crazy diamond, that's totally rare and brave and definitely not the contents of the entire comments section of most youtube videos.

Tiitha said:

So what if I'm sticking my head in the sand? I've always enjoyed his artwork and I'm not gonna stop just because of his opinions. I really don't care what people think anyway.

Charlie said:

I'm with Mike. I understand that some people oppose gay marriage but comparing it to a guy taking a dump in the ladies room? That for me was throwing down the gauntlet.

I think Earthworm Jim was one of the most hilarious games ever made but I wouldn't buy a new one form him. Not because he doesn't want me to be allowed to get married... but because of his crude defenses of his position. Is that overly sensitive? Sure.

I've never gotten the phrase 'I don't dislike/hate gay people, but I don't support same-sex marriage'. I mean, what's the difference?

As for Earthworm Jim, well I've never actually experienced any post 2000 relating works so *shrugs* no loss to me.

Austen said:

He gets bonus points for sneaking in a little transphobia there. Most social cons skip over us. Good to know he goes the extra mile!

CPFace said:

"You realize this conversation is going to be used by your people to justify a permanent boycott of my work. They would probably use this argument to justify me not being able to visit anyone in any hospital while they're at it. THis argument isn't about laws and marriage, it's about cultural witch hunts."

Sure, Doug. Just keep telling yourself, you're the victim. Don't let those gays come and get you Doug! They want to keep you out of the hospital Doug! They want that hospital all for theyselves Doug! Don't you let 'em! Don't you let 'em!

I mean, my God, what kind of a world are we living in where people will stop supporting someone's work just because he insults them? It's a totalitarian dystopia is what it is.

Organizing a boycott isn't necessary; I think most adults can steer clear of dickheads on their own if they really want to.

Doug TenNapel said:

If I went to a Southern Baptist group and pointed to an openly gay accountant and said, "I'm not telling y'all what to do, but this accountant is gay. It's not totalitarian to just exercise free market values and take your business elsewhere. Make your own choice." I don't think you'd give my smug implication the moral high ground. It's just a passive aggressive form of intolerance.

You also prove what most people on my side suspect all along. This has nothing to do with mere tolerance of gay behavior, gay marriage etc. It's about endorsement. The gays who actually advocate mere tolerance are labeled as sell outs, "Uncle Toms" and wishy washy.

No intolerant fundamentalists I know boycott entertainers based on their homosexuality (not that there's anything wrong with that)... you have to go to Fred Phelps types or super extreme backwoods Baptists to get that. I think it's funny that to find the level of intolerant fundamentalist behavior exhibited by some in the gay movement you have to go to Fred Phelps and backwoods Baptists. Most gays and most Christians get along just fine, even with our disagreements.

If you're a gay entertainer and you lose the Fred Phelps types as members of your audience, do you feel super compelled to change your belief system? Yeah, me neither. I would rather lose every job and every fan than to do what a Fred Phelps demand I do. The gays that want to control my heart, my mind and manipulate my free speech aren't scary... they're clownish.

Hate is an equal opportunity employer.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Mike
His comparison may have been crude, but he couldn't just say "I don't agree with it." Look at the question that was given to him. I'm not saying his example wasn't a little crude, but when people think they have to constantly challenge and debate all of your personal beliefs and flame you for them when you haven't done anything wrong other than be honest about the way you think, you tend to give less of a shit about sugar coating your thoughts.

@Rosa
Did it ever occur to you that I have never heard of this site, and that after reading I became interested in the conversation? I'm not here to glorify Doug. Anyone with same ideals facing the same issues could have tweeted this and I would be here defending their right to believe what they like. Because I've been there. I've gone through many changes in what I claimed to believe in order to figure out what I truly thought was right. And though now I have changed my stance to support homosexuals, I can understand why someone wouldn't and I don't consider it to be the "wrong" choice.

You can try to degrade me all you want, but honestly you're just mud slinging at this point. Try to stick to the topic, because your condescending and mocking attitude is just giving me more reason to disregard your opinion. You can cry out that you're nothing but a victim all you want, but as Doug stated, there are plenty of people suffering just as badly, if not worse. The fact that you consider anyone who isn't even necessarily actively against your cause so much as not supportive of it to be a villain regardless of the rest of their actions is completely selfish. He may not be a "brave soldier" or whatever fucking words you're trying to put in my mouth, but neither are you, sugar.

@Chosenoneknuckles
Well, for some people, it's basically thought of as a crime. Against nature, against god, whatever. You can like a person and have no problems with them personally, but you don't want them to commit a crime, either because they could get in trouble or because it's just morally wrong (to them). In fact, according to some religions, gay marriage could get you sent to Hell. So if one truly believes that, they might hope homosexuals don't get married. Not saying this is right or anything, just that it's possible to have good intentions that others simply don't agree with.

@CPFace
Everyone's a goddamn victim. No one can be themselves because being open about who you are means that a lot of people will try to change you to fit their view of what's right. This applies to both "sides" of this little argument. No one is universally accepted or rejected. So unless an actual act is committed against any sort of group, people really need to calm the fuck down. People give way too much of a shit about opinions that really don't matter very much.

Zeta said:

Doug TenNapel has also said to one of my female friends that he refuses to talk to women because women are basically irrational because they cannot control their emotions.

Doug TenNaple is basically Dave Sims of Cerebus under a different name. Misogynistic homophobic ball of hate who tries to disguise his vile under irrational quasi-libertarian politics.

Doug TenNapel said:

@Zeta,
now I don't talk to women? Fascinating.

I don't know who your female friend is, but if she talked like this:

"Misogynistic homophobic ball of hate who tries to disguise his vile under irrational quasi-libertarian politics."

I would say that female or male, they were basically irrational because they couldn't control their emotions. Keep digging.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

Doug TenNapel Facts:

1. Doug TenNapel once beat up a woman for forgetting to say "Amen" at the end of her prayer.

2. Doug TenNapel has burned down at least three orphanages. They let him off easy because he made Earthworm Jim.

3. All of Doug TenNapel's comics contain hidden images of homosexuals being tortured. You need a special pair of glasses to see them, which can be picked up at your local church.

4. Doug TenNapel's best friend in college asked if he would experiment with him. Police are still searching for the body.

5. Gay marriage has been legal for centuries. Doug TenNapel's iron grip on the government has seen to it that this information never sees the light of day.

6. Doug TenNapel was the mastermind behind 9/11. He was uncomfortable with two large phallic buildings being so close to each other. The plane was only meant to create a hole large enough to complement the other tower.

Jody said:

It's always amused me that, every few years, someone discovers that the creator of their favorite childhood cartoon character, Doug Tennapel, is a bit of a loon, between homophobia, near-Randian worship of the free market, and the intellectual masturbation of "Intelligent Design."

That's not meant as a dig at Vorpalbunny, who's peered behind the curtain and seen the wizard for what he is. Mine came with Orson Scott Card, an even more petulant scribe who, like Tennapel, complains about "victimhood" from a wretched suburban prison.

It'll happen again in a few years, I'm quite sure. In the meantime, I get to watch Tennapel cry "No, you're oppressing -me-!", as the SUV pulls away from an ATM, late for a dinner, a meeting, or a flight to some other city, where the loving arms of fans, awards and fame greet him in these oh so dark times....

*Rolls eyes.*

Gamescook said:

@Dougy-poo

So long as I don't have an open sore on my fist? Are you implying I have a disease transmittable by blood?

And complaining about the oppression of your backwards opinions by those actually oppressed? Oh, I'm sure that's TOTALLY a two-way street. "I'm Doug Tennapel! I'm white, rich, straight and Christian! I own my own home and car with little to no outstanding debt! I just can't seem to catch a break!" I'm sure you're SUCH A FUCKING VICTIM.

Zeta said:

Take this article:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Cerebus

Cross out Dave Sim and replace it with Doug TenNaple.

Replace Cerebus with Earthworm Jim or whatever du jour project TenNaple is working on.

Ta-Dah. Same exact person and radical political views, writing style, career arc, and claim to entitled privilege.

It wouldn't even be so bad if he were original, but Dave Sim did the crazy homophobic libertarian misogynistic entitled majority Randite who draws animal comics things first and better.

Tiitha said:

Why do people want marriage so badly yet people fight so hard for divorce? I remember a story of two lesbians that fought hard to get married and they finally got it passed as a law... only to get divorced not too long down the road. How sad is this?

60% of people think marriage is obsolete, so why does that matter so much what Doug thinks of gay marriage? Is his opinion alone going to prevent gay rights all together?

Mike said:

@CaptainOpinions

I'm not saying this guy isn't entitled to any kind of opinion if it doesn't resemble mine, I'm saying that I should also be free to have the right to not associate with people that I find offensive. It's that simple. And I would consider putting money in his pocket an association. I have no desire to organize or take part in a boycott or anything, but I won't apologize for refusing to feed into something I disagree with, just as the creator is doing.

And to address some of the comments that this is only an issue because it's a gay issue, I have to say that I'm also a Christian and I respect everyone's rights to believe as they want, but if the comments were made regarding that in the same derogatory fashion, I still would be just as reluctant to continue being a consumer.

Josh S said:

Do you boycott everyone who disagrees with you about gay marriage, i.e., all Muslims, all evangelical Christians, all practicing Catholics, and all Orthodox Jews? That seems awfully intolerant...especially considering most of them would be fine doing business with you, I wonder who's the real bigot here.

Charlie said:

Let's see Doug, your argument was: "If I went to a Southern Baptist group and pointed to an openly gay accountant and said"

But you're talking about an openly gay accountant. Those people would know he is gay since he is open. When you live openly you expect fallout. In the same way, you are an open bigot because your own quotes on your own website are what allow us to discern that you are a bigot.

So yes, it's fine to warn people that you are a bigot, you don't seem to mind since you keep posting bigotry.

And it isn't about "endorsement" Doug, it's about love, something that the abusive father conservative Christians worship just doesn't get.

CPFace said:

"If you're a gay entertainer and you lose the Fred Phelps types as members of your audience, do you feel super compelled to change your belief system? Yeah, me neither. I would rather lose every job and every fan than to do what a Fred Phelps demand I do. The gays that want to control my heart, my mind and manipulate my free speech aren't scary... they're clownish."

Now you don't mind losing my business and you aren't scared of the gays taking your hospital away? That's very mature of you, Doug, I'm glad I was here to see this transformation.

But for the record, I'm not demanding you do anything. You've got your very own website where you can spout all the bullshit you want. That's the power of private enterprise right there. Go soak up some of that American dream.

Clambake said:

@Gamescook
Sure is baseless assumptions in here.


God, I just came here by curiosity (via Destructoid) and I don't even read Ratfist (I didn't even know Doug had a site lol), and the reactions out of some people here are, to be honest, disgusting. There's only like a handful of rational folk here, and some people can't read a simple line of text without flipping their shit. Some humorous quips I see get taken seriously when they shouldn't be in the first place.

Actually, seeing you guys get riled up like that is quite worth coming here for. As a gay person myself, I find these comments worth a hearty laugh, what with a lot of stuff being used out of context and just plain silly callouts.

If you guys planned on having a civilized discussion about this, you're waaaayyy off the mark and you have Vorpal to blame for that for starting this poppycock in the first place. :P

Commentator said:

@Clambake

First time I've been here too, but you must admit that these guys are handling it a bit better than Sterling and the commentators on Destructoid. Anything above "BIGOT BIGOT BIGOT" and "FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT" is a breath of fresh air, in my eyes.

Back to the main issue, am I going to boycott something because he has a differing opinion in something as trivial as gay marriage? No, unless he is directly funding some sort of specifically anti-gay organization. His bathroom comment was stupid and out of line, but it's merely an opinion.

Nevertheless, hopefully he learns an important lesson here -- never ever publicly take a side in a controversial matter if you are not a politician, as half your fanbase will leave you for your opinion, while nobody new will fill in the gap.

Commentator said:

@Clambake

First time I've been here too, but you must admit that these guys are handling it a bit better than Sterling and the commentators on Destructoid. Anything above "BIGOT BIGOT BIGOT" and "FAGGOT FAGGOT FAGGOT" is a breath of fresh air, in my eyes.

Back to the main issue, am I going to boycott something because he has a differing opinion in something as trivial as gay marriage? No, unless he is directly funding some sort of specifically anti-gay organization. His bathroom comment was stupid and out of line, but it's merely an opinion.

Nevertheless, hopefully he learns an important lesson here -- never ever publicly take a side in a controversial matter if you are not a politician, as half your fanbase will leave you for your opinion, while nobody new will fill in the gap.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Jody and Gamescook
Yes, and every homosexual is poor, black, and follows (whatever religion is supposed to be the hated one in your world?), I presume? To be homosexual is not constant suffering. Get over yourselves. The guy made a game and some comics. He's not a huge celebrity and he's (clearly) not universally loved. He has problems like anyone else. We're all human, and we all have our flaws. In fact, I wonder how your apparent issues against whites and Christians don't register as hypocritical in this situation.

@Tiitha
Well, I don't blame people for wanting marriage. I'd like to get married someday, myself. But yeah, I don't think Doug's opinions are going to affect that cause very much.

@Mike
Oh, I'm not saying you need to support him at all, actually. That's totally up to you, of course. I just don't personally think it's right for people to outright bash him for giving an honest opinion when it's asked of him.

@Josh S
You make me smile.

@Clambake
You make me smile even more.

@Commentator
Idk, considering some of what I've read in here, I'd prefer a more direct cry of "BIGOT" or "FAGGOT" instead of having to read through paragraphs of bullshit that essentially carry the same message.

Also, even after this I don't expect he'll lose too many fans. Certainly not "half the fanbase". Just the immature ones who are easily offended and hunt for opinions by which to be offended.

Overall, I think some people are simply too quick to charge into the arena unarmed and unfit to fight just to cry martyr when the battle's over. Feel free to twist that however you like.

tropicofanatic said:

Doug Tennapel is a loser homophobe. You had one minor hit with Earthworm Jim and now you think anyone gives a crap about what you believe. Too bad for you Tennapel that full and equal gay rights are coming, whether you like them or not.

BTW, boycotting someone or a business is an expression of your free speech speech. Exercise it anyway you want to and don't apologize for it.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@tropicofanatic
>now you think anyone gives a crap about what you believe
>he's asked by a reader to share his beliefs
>his beliefs stir up a shitstorm

I believe the problem here is that some people care quite a lot more than logic should allow, actually, yourself included. These people are what I like to call "very silly" and "an embarrassment to their own cause" lol

Sanious said:

My problem is that saying that Gays are trying to force Churches to Marry them is not an opinion, it's an outright a lie and it is suggesting that Gays are attacking religion when it's the other way around. Trying to play the victim when you're not really the victim at all.

I'll let a person have their opinion, but I won't sit down and not say anything when it's and outright lie.

@Commentator

Gay Marriage is a trivial issue? No, it isn't. When someone tells you that you're aren't allowed to do something every one else has a right to do because of something you have no control over, it's not a trivial issue.

Treating people like second hand citizens because 'you' don't agree with what they do or who they are isn't trivial.

ChunkyMunky said:

What I'm not understanding here is *why* he's against gay marriage. I'm just not getting it from his comments, especially not with those analogies.

In what way is allowing homosexual couples the same legal benefits as heterosexual ones equivalent to defecating? In what way is a same-sex couple the same as the relationship between a homeonwner and their gardner?

Doug also seems unaware that up until the Industrial Revolution the traditional family structure in almost every society on Earth was Mom, Dad, Uncle, Aunt, Grandma, Grandpa, Cousins etc living under one roof, raising the kids together, *not* one male + one female + offspring.

Nexus said:

@CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay
>I believe the problem here is that some people care quite a lot more than logic should allow, actually, yourself included. These people are what I like to call "very silly" and "an embarrassment to their own cause" lol

This from someone that feels the need to respond to almost every difering opinion voiced in this thread, whether aimed at him or not.
But clearly you do not 'care more than logic should allow', right?

Pot, kettle, black.

Abbiistabbii said:

Oh? he thinks that Christianity makes America great?

Is teaching fairy tales in Science "great"?

Is a young child being thrown out his or her home because of who s/he loves and because people who believed women were baby making slaves said so "great"?

is having people treated like Nazis because they don't believe in the same thing as the majority great?

If that is correct then fuck you Doug Tennapel. You are a theocratic douchebag.

Doug TenNapel said:

@Abbistabbii,
you're too charitable to my position. I will own that Christianity is part of what makes America great. But I'm just happy to see that you're even willing to concede that America is great.

your pal,
Doug

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Nexus
Haha, I knew I'd be getting this reply. No, I'm not replying because I actually care what any of you think, or plan on changing your minds on this issue. I'm just interested in the topic and offering my views on it, and I'm having fun with it. I'm not a blithering idiot commenting in a blind, butthurt rage. The moment I get bored with this topic, I'm leaving.

But that was cute, try making another clever observation. :3

shinobi100 said:

Ha! You never know what to xpect when you read the opinions of an artist on religion. But he was funny! He's like the human version of Earthworm Jim. Don't hate on someone if they have diff. beliefs than you. I don't support gay marriage either. I like gay people. I wouldnt care if I was the only straight person on my street. Y'all could borrow sugar anytime you wanted. That wasn't a euphemism btw. Anyway, marriage was made to trap a man into help raise a child w/ his wife. They'll never write that in the history books. So it doesn't make any sense to me to let gay people marriage. I have no problem if they invent something called Gayrriage.

EG Gauger said:

Myep, I posted a thing about him on Kotaku one time and was contacted by some concerned friends who let me know what a total shitlord he has been in the past, both personally and professionally.

It is a goddamned shame, and thanks for bringing it to light again.

John said:

@Gamescook said:

>Gamescook said:
>@Dougy-poo
>So long as I don't have an open sore on my fist? Are you implying I have a disease transmittable by blood?"

Yes, yes he did. I'm surprised no one else has commented on this. If that's not bigotry, I don't know what is.

Guys, being liberal or left wing is not a contest to see who can be the most tolerant and respectful. It's okay to dislike someone because they're an asshole or have stupid opinions. Really.

Mikey said:

Guys, you're giving this ignorant person what they want. Attention. He's not worth debating with. Because of his opinions? No. His Christian beliefs? Nope. It's because of the incredibly stupid and incredibly insensitive things he's said along with those opinions.

Doug posted this: "I'd be fine with this so long as you didn't have an open sore on your knuckle."

An HIV joke? Seriously? Clearly, the guy is a total imbecile. Not to mention, a one-hit wonder. Considering this guy's homophobic remarks, it's not really surprising to me that the protagonist in his ONLY successful game is one of the most phallic characters ever in video game history. Just sayin'...

Doug TenNapel is a jerk. But more importantly, in the grand scheme of things, he's a NOBODY. So let's move on. There are way bigger fish to fry. You've all given him more attention than he deserves. Maybe even more attention than he got back in the 90s, back when he was semi-relevant...

The guy is a hack. I'd say boycott him, but I don't think most of us were actually going to buy any of his crap anyways. I'd boycott a homophobe just like I'd boycott a racist. My right as a consumer. In this case though, there isn't even anything worth boycotting! So...let's just CONTINUE not buying aforementioned crap. ^_~ And move on to more important issues...

Doug TenNapel said:

"Considering this guy's homophobic remarks, it's not really surprising to me that the protagonist in his ONLY successful game is one of the most phallic characters ever in video game history."

Greatest comment in the history of man.

Mikey said:

Shoo. Do not want.

Limeade said:

Comparing it to a guy taking a dump in the lady's room? Making a transmitable blood crack? That's much to far for me to want any association with this fellow and his work. The privilege is really being thrown about.

It is also awesome to see our struggle for civil and equal rights get boiled down into a dismissive 'it's all about silly hospital visits' argument. Indeed, that is entirely what marriage equality is about. Hospital visitation.

As a sidenote, I wanted to comment that I really enjoyed Rosa and Jody's posts and their commentary.

myName said:

Good god. Everything he says in his arguments makes me twitch. He says he demands freedom of speech and religion, while saying he won't give the same to others. He pulls out single examples as reasons to be against gay marriage - well, I could shoot examples of horrific homophobia right back at you, but analogies aren't evidence. He repeatedly attempts to steer the argument onto polyamory, rather than addressing the current issues. I just.. Argh.

I enjoy the comic, and I'll continue reading it because I'd like to set the better example - boycotting his work is just stooping to the level of boycotting gay marriages.

SkyHawk said:

Successful troll is successful. He has a very dry sense of humor. Just look at his past work.

Mikey said:

I don't think it's stooping to his level. If you're a fan of his, which I've never been, and you are absolutely offended and disgusted by the things this man has said and stands for, it's absolutely your right as a consumer to say you're not going to put money into the pockets of someone who discriminates against minorities. I wouldn't give my money to a homophobe. I wouldn't give my money to a racist. I wouldn't give my money to a Nazi. That's my choice. I give my money to people who deserve it for their work AND have at least AVERAGE morality.

Maybe there are fans of his who think he deserves it because of his work alone, but for some fans I'm sure his primitive, backwards ideals and his hate speech are going to outweigh the work. It's a personal decision. To mock somebody for making the decision not to spend their hard earned cash because of moral reasons is foolish and rude.

People who protest against gay marriage are trying to take rights away from people. That's not the same as this issue. Nobody is trying to take down his website or censor him or take his rights away. People are just saying - we're not going to pay you anymore. That's fair.

This isn't really a conversation about whatshisname (I forgot already). It's become a broader debate about free speech and consumer rights. So don't take my two cents as giving a hoot about that tool. Anybody who cracks an HIV joke in a conversation like this loses all credibility and respect. What a fool. Hopefully he and people like him will see and accept the truth some day.

Mikey said:

Hysterical! And so telling. He's shut down all comments on his comic's website, because of the negative responses he's gotten. I thought this guy was all for free speech? Huh. Interesting.

Fail. said:

It's simple.

An artist has a right to use free speech and says whatever he likes, including homophobic and transphobic bullshit, like tennapel did.

The audience, on the other hand, has every right to cry foul and simply decide to boycot. This isn't shutting anyone down - it's simply not wanting to deal with stupid bullshit. I wouldn't visit a website that had horrific colors and an unavoidable WAV-scream at full volume every time you load a page. And I wouldn't visit one where there was the risk that thr author randomly threw up their homophobic bile.

That's how it goes. Freedom of expression goes for EVERYONE, not just artists. Artists can be massive douches, and we can call them on it. Simple. Artists whining about this (or getting their little fanbrats to do so) just don't get the basic concept of freedom of speech.

And yeah, sorry, if there was any doubt, the AIDS "joke" sealed the deal.

Phil said:

I think a lot of people here fail to realise how ironic it is that they're trying to remedy intolerance with more intolerance.

I don't know what's worse, that one guy doesn't believe in gay marriage, or that a whole community is encouraging people to disadvantage one guy* because they disagree on something.

Materially persecuting someone for their beliefs...does that sound familiar?

* Obviously this web comic isn't his livelihood, but the point is that treating someone differently because of their beliefs is the very thing you're fighting against, yet here you are striving to take something away from someone because of their beliefs. Hypocrites.

Silly Phil said:

Phil, the real ironic thing is that you don't understand what intolerance is.

We tolerate his beliefs. Nobody here argued that he should be forbidden by law to have them - the only one here who tries to forbid things by law is him. We just do not support him.

So no, it only "sounds familiar" if you have no sense of perspective and are a giant hypocrite.

Tolerance does not imply the need to support intolerance. On the contrary: Tolerance needs to act against intolerance. That's how it works. You should understand that intuitively. It's exactly like freedom: We work for freedom, and lock people up who take the freedom of others away, for example by kidnapping.

Or would you argue that to be hypocritical, either? Course not. That's because you're a hypocrite here who is trying to give this guy a free pass. That's rather pathetic, in my opinion.

clever phil said:

i think phil hit the nail on the head

mister silly phil you are clearly influenced by emotion here and i do not blame you. the lgbt community faces enough criticism without it being dealt from the art world on top of the general population.

however

if you go around encouraging people to cause someone harm, then you are worse than doug tennapel, and do a disservice to your peers. you are correct that we deal with kidnappers by locking them up, but we dont lock people up for merely thinking about kidnapping. do we? we might lock up people encouraging others to kidnap too. but we certainly wouldnt lock someone up that said 'well i dont think kidnapping is so bad'. we would certainly look at them suspiciously but there are no thought crimes. not yet anyway haha.

doug tennapel has done nothing more than state his opinion. he was crass about it. he was ignorant about it. but those are his demons to face. maybe someone here can talk to him and help him through his issues. that said he is not lobbying congress to take away gay rights. he is not using his art to preach hate. he probably isnt using proceeds from his website to fund anti gay sentiment. he isnt really doing anything. much less anything with the capacity to hurt anyone.

it seems like people want to make an example of him: if you dare disagree with gay marriage, the gay community will seek to destroy you. that is not the impression i want to create of my community. other people seem to just want to bully him into changing his opinion.

how am i dealing with it? i wrote doug an email telling him how i felt. i will continue to enjoy his work. he will know that he has offended a fan with his outburst. and the world keeps on spinning.

'silly phil' why is that you think phil gave doug a 'free pass'? a free pass to what? disagree with something? call the police!

if doug tennapel ever gives his money to a 'pray away the gay' centre then boycott away. he would have now committed the kidnapping in your metaphor.

in the mean time. consider how upset youd be if people boycotted your city if they found out your mayor doesnt like chocolate. not that he banned chocolate, he just said he didnt like it. silly. yes. this discussion is full of it. i give kudos to people like leo noah and phil for seeing beyond the obvious emotive response and chanelling the voice of reason.

NaviFairy said:

Phil

The fact that you put someone's sexual orientation in the same category as beliefs shows a lack of understanding of what you're talking about. Being gay, lesbian, bi, trans, etc. isn't a matter of someone's beliefs, that's just who they are. Discriminating against someone for their sexual orientation is more akin to discriminating against someone for having a liver.

Beliefs, on the other hand, are based on opinion and subject to change. Each person has control of their own beliefs, but not of their own sexual orientation. The issue is between being critical of someone for something that they choose (TenNapel and his beliefs), or discriminating against someone for something they can't change (homosexuality).

Doug TenNapel said:

NaviFairy,
what you’ve just about “beliefs” shows a lack of understanding on your part. You describe beliefs as if one can choose them, as if we make it up as we go. That is not the usual way that we dignify another person with their beliefs, and I could just as easily say that your belief that beliefs are a choice is simply another belief, and cannot be found in your DNA. Weak sauce.

In the end, if we’re all just reduced to the cause and effect of our genes, then the gay can be no more condemned for their actions than the “homophobe.” You were born that way? Then I was born this way. I supposed threatening my family is also not your choice, and I can find you some well read intellectuals that would say as much.

America is great because you don’t have to find the “gay gene” before a homosexual can have the right to be, and even have the legal ability to marry, and even have the legal ability to imprison all dissent. Rule of law, not the rule of genetics, is what protects both homosexuals and Christians in this country, if you remove that rule of law we should expect far worse consequences than merely not getting to marry.

What troubles me about your ideas are that you’re trying to create justification for treating Christians as less than and gays as equal. Our Constitution (thank God) protects my right to a creed as much as your right to a creed. We left England for religious freedom, after all, the right to gay marriage came a long time after. If I can’t have my religious freedom, and if you insist on reducing them to merely choosing a flavor of icecream, then it’s no wonder why you treat my people the way you do.

And for the record, I could not change my Christianity. It is actually far more secure than even my sexual orientation. I could easier change my belief that this computer is in front of my than Christianity is false. So don’t discriminate against something I can’t change either.

If I’ve offended the group of gays that believe they don’t have a choice, you’ve just offended and ghettoized every religious group and tradition with your opinion.

In short you show how bad the homophobes are by being a Christophobe. You show how much you oppose intolerance by being intolerant. You show how much you hate what happened to Matthew Shepherd by threatening violence. You show how much you hate witch hunts by witch-hunting my friends and demand a clarification statement that they “love the sinner but hate the sin.”

And no, I don’t equate all gays with some of the truly stupid bigots on this site. That too, is a character problem, and not a gay one.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

Doug said it right. Beliefs are as much a part of a person as sexual orientation. The only reason they're subject to change is because a person may not know what they believe until they've heard every possibility. Sometimes you think you believe one thing, then you find out that it's possible to believe something else and it clicks, and you know that you never actually believed the original thing in the first place. But Doug knows that gay marriage is a thing. He knows why people want it, and logical reasons that support it. And in his heart, he still doesn't believe it. That's why I said that being honest about your beliefs is no different than coming out of the closet. It's a part of you that you can't just choose, and some people will be offended by it because it's different. So you people who bash him for having beliefs, but not using them to hurt anyone, go against everything this gay movement is supposed to stand for.

And the result? The comments section is closed. Is it because people disagree with the guy, and he wants to hide it? No, it's because you assholes have reduced the comments section to an anti-Christian bashing session, instead of a discussion about the goddamn comic. And there's nothing constructive about it. No one's opinions are being changed, no open discussions are being had. It's just a bunch of angry children yelling at each other and not listening to what anyone else has to say. This is as much an affront to free speech as someone closing a forum thread because the posts are useless spam unrelated to the topic. You ruined it for the comic fans because you couldn't handle an opinion. And you think it's ok because you think you're the only victims in the world. I have nothing against homosexuals, personally. And those of you, homosexual or not, who understood that it's ok for someone to have a firm belief should be proud to be decent human beings. But you people who attacked a man, his fans, and a work of art for having an opinion don't deserve to represent the gay movement. You are below respectable homosexuals. You are faggots.

silly navi fairy said:

"The fact that you put someone's sexual orientation in the same category as beliefs shows a lack of understanding of what you're talking about. Being gay, lesbian, bi, trans, etc. isn't a matter of someone's beliefs, that's just who they are. Discriminating against someone for their sexual orientation is more akin to discriminating against someone for having a liver."

another unfortunate soul blinded by emotive rage. i would like you to point out where mr tennapel has actually discriminated against anyone. i cant see it. i have seen some negative remarks. i have seen an opinion stated that i and many others do not agree with. but he has not said that he doesnt want us reading his comic. he has not said that he would fund anti-gay-rights campaigns. nothing of the sort. no discrimination has taken place. its really as simple as that.

"The issue is between being critical of someone for something that they choose (TenNapel and his beliefs), or discriminating against someone for something they can't change (homosexuality)."

again. doug has not discriminated. you should really go look up what discrimination means. on the other hand some here would choose to avoid his product because he holds a certain opinion. to treat him differently. **that** is discrimination.

i dont think gays should marry = opinion
i will encourage people to act differently toward doug based on his opinion = discrimination

can i dumb it down any farther

i take my hat off to leo noah phil and others like them for not following this emotive boycott nonsense like lost puppies.

Esile said:

I heard about this a couple days ago when Doug TenNapel tweeted about this article. I watched "Catscratch" when it was on Nickelodeon and am a current reader of "Ratfist."

Upon reading this article, I tweeted "I was a big fan of @TenNapel's "Ratfist." Even recommended it to someone last night. I'm not recommending it anymore. [also provided a link to this article]" which was soon retweeted by TenNapel himself.

I also said "As one commenter responded, 'I love having my relationship with my boyfriend compared to someone taking a dump in the wrong restroom.'" and "I'm not boycotting it, and I'm not going to stop reading it, but I can't take a chance on offending my friends with the artist's comments."

As frustrating as I find the anti-gay marriage stance, that wasn't what bothered me about Doug TenNapel. I accepted that his views differed from mine in many ways, but I enjoyed his art and storylines and was happy to recommend his work to friends. It was not his views that upset me.

In short, it was his way of expressing his views. In a few sentences, he threw out a bash at transgender/transsexual people ("The same argument I have against letting a man take a dump in the ladies room."), and a bash at gay people ("I'd be fine with this so long as you didn't have an open sore on your knuckle."), both of which show a startling amount of ignorance for somebody creating works for children and adults alike.

Now, both comments could have been meant innocuously, and this could be a case of political correctness gone mad. With the "dump in the ladies room" comment, he could have meant a cis-man with a kink for defecating in a cis-woman's restroom. The continuing statement that "[An] office appropriate for one sex isn't automatically appropriate for another..." is a fair statement if that is the view that TenNapel takes in defending his stance on heterosexual marriage.

As for the "open sore on the knuckle" bit, HIV/AIDS/other bloodborne illnesses can be transferred through homosexual, heterosexual, and even non-sexual contact with another's blood. However, by posting the comment on a site called "GayGamer.net," he did insinuate the person infected was infected with HIV/AIDS, or at least that is how I, and other commenters, interpreted the statement.

I am not insinuating that Doug TenNapel should NOT have said these things if this was the way that he felt. I am saying that it did cast him in a very negative light in many peoples' eyes because of the insensitivity behind what he said. I personally was offended, many others were as well. I know I wouldn't have been offended if he had just said that he didn't support gay marriage and stopped there. I do believe that TenNapel should apologize to the LGBT community for his insensitive comments. I'm not asking that he changes his views, just that he takes responsibility for his statements.

As I tweeted, I will not be recommending his work any more to friends. Have I given him more pageviews by tweeting about this? Yes, I'm sure. But not without warning to those clicking on the links to "Ratfist" and his other works. They know TenNapel's views. Whether or not they agree with my views on the subject is up to them entirely. Maybe they'll find that they like TenNapel's work regardless of his statements. I know that I am still a fan of the art and storyline of "Ratfist" and would like to follow it to its completion. I just know I won't be the one to encourage others to do the same.

NaviFairy said:

Hi Doug,

"What troubles me about your ideas are that you’re trying to create justification for treating Christians as less than and gays as equal. Our Constitution (thank God) protects my right to a creed as much as your right to a creed."

Just to clarify something, I never said anything about Christianity, much less saying that Christians should be treated in any way less than anyone else. I would never make the claim that all Christians share exactly the same beliefs. I've even met Christian priests who happily conduct marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples (even though the marriages are not recognized by the government in my state). So when someone speaks out against gays or gay marriage, I don't necessarily associate those beliefs with a specific religion, I associate the beliefs with the specific person who said them. I apologize to anyone who felt I was making an offence against any religion in any way.

DOug TenNapel said:

NaviFairy,
thanks for your clarification. As a traditional Christian, I totally understand how this is really difficult for gay advocates to understand. I don't want any more division between us than is necessary, and I don't see much reason for any vitriol on my part.

I'm really sorry to Gamescook for making that comment, I was trying to be tricky and make a point, but that's dirty pool on my part given the culture of this community, I should have known better.

I'm sorry for being crude, for not delivering my already culturally difficult values in a more appealing way. I think those who particularly disagree with me deserve a better case to be made. "Take a dump in the ladies room" is a poor delivery of an argument, and I wasn't being very careful.

Every person, especially my opposition, deserves the best treatment I can muster. You may find my views offensive, and I won't apologize for that. But for expressing them in offensive language you and I both have a reason to be offended by my words. I'll be more careful in the future.

Doug

Cho said:

It is rather silly to stop reading or enjoying a piece of art simply because you do not agree with the artist's personal opinions. This is akin to saying that you must get to know the views of every single writer or artist before you buy anything from them, which is downright impossible. Do you enjoy DaVinci's art? Picasso's? Warhol's? Does it matter how they felt about homosexuality?
Moreover, I can see it being a problem if TenNapel was giving money to anti-gay groups. I can see you not wanting to support him then. But if it does not support their agenda and the comic has no mention of it (as well as the comments section being closed after he received so much hate mail, maybe from some of you), there is no problem with partaking in it. To close someone off because of their own personal views is immature, rude and hypocritical. I don't know if I can trust a review site that does that.

Mikey said:

Nobody is bashing Doug for having anti-gay views or his religious views.

My issue is with his making a cruel joke about HIV, and other similar nasty and completely unnecessary comments.

Nobody is saying he shouldn't have the right to say he's anti-gay or anti-gay marriage. Nobody's even saying he shouldn't have the right to make jokes about gay people having HIV. We're just saying that consumers have the right to decide not to give someone their hard earned money if they feel like that person is morally reprehensible for whatever reason. It's THEIR money. It doesn't mean the person automatically feels the art is of lesser quality all of the sudden -- it's that they aren't going to PAY for it anymore because they strongly disagree with the beliefs and/or actions of the artist.

Would you buy an album, a very good album, from somebody who is openly a Nazi? Maybe you would. A lot of people wouldn't. That's their right, and your right. It's the consumer's prerogative. We get to pick the things we buy, and the artists we support financially.

Ben said:

Everyone has the right to choose to do,say or believe one thing or another. That's the wonder of being human. But art should not be boycotted because of their views or beliefs. It's art! It's the epitome of self-expression. It's hypocritical to say that you will accept this person's art, but not the other because they think differently than you. Chances are, if you got to meet and speak with every artist whose work you enjoy, you probably will have a variety of differences. Walt Disney was a huge anti-semite, and his cartoons that he produced were still good cartoons. Will you never watch peter pan again because of him?
I'm sure I don't agree with everyone that produces the music I enjoy, but I'll still purchase the cd. It's good music. It's good art. It's the differences in opinion and belief that make it worth owning because they're unique.

Mikey said:

We're talking about live people. Not Walt Disney. Do I pay money for Mel Gibson material? No. That is MY choice as a consumer.

Its not about agreeing or disagreeing with their beliefs. Its making the choice not to give them your money. The jerk in this case made a joke about HIV in a discussion about homophobia. If he made a joke about black people being stupid in a talk about race, would you fault blacks for choosing not to give him their money again?

Cho said:

Not everyone who makes a homophobic joke is a homophobe. Not everyone who makes a black joke hates black people. He was trying to have a sense of humor about this whole thing, as it is being blown way out of proportion. (He also may have been baiting the hook just a bit). Besides, Ratfist is a free online comic. Talking about not putting money in their pocket? What money? I've never paid a cent to read it. We are talking purely about the art here, not about the money.

Mikey said:

Like I said, I don't read the comic. But he has other creations out there to make money, and his fans may choose not to spend their cash on those anymore. It's - their - prerogative. It's up to them. He can have a hissy fit and whine about it all he wants, and so can his fans who have decided to keep supporting him. That's their right. But just as they have rights, so do the fans who have decided to move on.

If you look at the context of everything he's said, he's a homophobe (the definition I'm using of homophobe is someone who thinks there is something wrong with homosexuality, that it's changeable and should be changed, and doesn't think homosexuals deserve equal rights). So to brush off that label like he just made some passing joke about gay people is silly. You have to look at everything he's said (here and on his site).

I'm not in his fanbase, so he wouldn't get my money anyways. But I'm saying - I wouldn't give my money to a person that I perceive to be a homophobe. Same as if it was a racist, or any other kind of bigot. If someone apologizes for their previous ignorant behavior and say they don't feel that way anymore, I typically give them a second chance. Some people choose to open their mind and ask for forgiveness for their previous ignorant beliefs -- I think that's a wonderful, admirable thing.

Cho said:

The actual definition is "one who fears or hates homosexuals or homosexuality." If you are going to use such incendiary language, you cannot be operating from a milder definition that only you know. I doubt he "hates" or "fears" gays, so I would choose my words more carefully

Mikey said:

Homophobe is commonly used nowadays as someone who disagrees with homosexuality and says things that reflect that. Someone who believes that homosexuals are beneath them, aren't equal, etc. His comments clearly show that. To be a racist, does somebody have to hate other races? No. They just have to feel superior to them based on their race.

Ironic that you'd accuse me of incendiary language and suggesting I choose my words more carefully...considering who we're talking about. My words were carefully thought out, and I'm sure everybody here knows what I mean by homophobe. I don't think anyone here thinks I'm suggesting that this jerk spends every day with a seething hatred and wants to punch every gay person he sees. He just thinks he's superior to them based on his religious beliefs, and has said incredibly rude and nasty things about them.

Doug TenNapel said:

For starters, don’t take my defense of my position on traditional marriage as any kind of distraction from my apologies I’ve made here. Those apologies stick.

But my words were only made more hurtful by taking them out of context. I didn’t take them out of context. The “dump in a ladies room” comment was after a long back and forth where yes, a guy and I were getting pretty heated by the time that one moment came up. So it’s wrong to just snip that section out as if that’s the end of the story. Now I still shouldn’t let those words go, especially when I knew that those words could be weaponized against me.

I also don’t make HIV jokes, so let’s not pretend that I go around making those statements in a normal debate either. I didn’t make those comments to all of disagreements here, only to the guy who threatended to physical violence. Again, it was a stupid choice to use those words here, but it doesn’t mean I go around saying that all the time. That’s a lie.

To hide behind the “It’s my money and I don’t have to buy…” is just another form of discrimination. Again, if I warn everyone about an artist being gay, we all know how that looks. I don’t think you’d have a high opinion of how tolerant I was, and you’d be right to think I was lying when I sold the line that I wasn’t against his expression of his opinion. You discriminate against people who believe different than you do.
“Would you buy an album, a very good album, from somebody who is openly a Nazi?”

Now that quote would be a perfect opportunity for me to take it out of context and get offended that you’re calling me a Nazi. That’s what pro-traditional Christians are now? People who throw Jews into ovens? I wouldn’t be very charitable if I took it that way. Given boycotting gays wouldn’t like being compared to child molesters I’m sure you wouldn’t feel comfortable comparing me to Nazis… or even Mel Gibson for that matter.

The same goes for calling me a homophobe. You aren’t allowed to make up the definitions of your own words, and you wouldn’t like it if I did the same to you. Are you a Christianaphobe? Is every single person who supports gay marriage a Christianaphobe? That’s really sloppy, and seems intentionally vitriolic. The way you relish implying I’m a homophobe is troubling.

I’ve never once spoken against “homosexuals”. I don’t think you’re lower than me, I won’t treat you like an animal or less than, because I believe you’re made in the Image of God. There are very good philosophical reasons for treating you with dignity, with value and with care.

How we treat each other is tough, but personally I’d rather everyone of my opponents would vote against my ability to marry my wife than to go after my friends and family, de-friend them on twitter for not throwing me under an ideological bus. By advocacy for traditional marriage isn't an excuse to treat me as 'less than'. When I say you're wrong I'm not saying you're less than. If anything, I'm 'less than' most people I know. I’ll note that most of the people here, including the homosexuals, supported me, opposed a boycott of my work and have been generally decent to me.

“I don't think anyone here thinks I'm suggesting that this jerk spends every day with a seething hatred and wants to punch every gay person he sees.”

I wasn’t the one who wanted to punch a gay. It was a gay who said he wanted to punch me. Why you heard it the opposite is more a reflection of your own perception of me in spite of what the facts are.

And I can take my lumps for my own big mouth and my own blunt way that I communicate. I’ll wrap up by reiterating that I need to present my own views in a constructive way, because disagreements like this are already heated enough. Have a good one.

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Mikey

"Nobody is bashing Doug for having anti-gay views or his religious views."

"Nobody is saying he shouldn't have the right to say he's anti-gay or anti-gay marriage. Nobody's even saying he shouldn't have the right to make jokes about gay people having HIV."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

HAHAHA.

HA.

What conversation are you reading? Nobody sane is doing it, but there are plenty of people here doing exactly that. You don't get to ignore the idiots on your "side" and glorify yourselves like you're handling this really maturely. Try lecturing the bashers on your end before telling anyone that you're the victims, here.

And everyone overreacting to that "open sore" thing? You're as sensitive as the black guy who gets really offended any time someone offers him a piece of chicken. Diseases transmitted by blood can come from anyone.

Seriously, though, keep it up. It's hilarious. And silly navi fairy said it right.

"again. doug has not discriminated. you should really go look up what discrimination means. on the other hand some here would choose to avoid his product because he holds a certain opinion. to treat him differently. **that** is discrimination.

i dont think gays should marry = opinion
i will encourage people to act differently toward doug based on his opinion = discrimination"

Practice what you preach, faggots. And before you get butthurt (haha, oh man, I can't wait until you twist that word to be an anti-gay statement), look up my last comment for what a faggot is by my definition (and I get to choose this one, because it really has no specific meaning other than to be offensive. Homophobe, on the other hand, has a strict definition and is an outright lie if misused.) Or just invalidate my opinion because I used a word that makes you sad even if it doesn't actually apply to you when I'm saying it. :'(

Mikey said:

Sorry, but you make an HIV joke in a discussion like this, no matter how provoked you may feel...you lose all credibillity and respect.

My mother lost TWO of her gay brothers to AIDS. You are a very cruel, insensitive person to make such an ignorant, nasty joke.

In my opinion, you lost the chance to defend your beliefs with credibility after you did that.

By the way, nobody ever called you a Nazi or a murderer. You did make comments here and on your site that cofirmed your homophobic beliefs. Those beliefs are your right. You can think and say whatever you want. And the people who pay for your work have the right to stop supporting you, just like people have the right to stop giving their money to someone who is against interracial marriage.

There are still many countries where being gay is a crime, and a bunch where you can get the death penalty for it. Not just third world places too.

There is nothing wrong with being gay, lesbian, bi, or trans. Its normal, healthy, part of the human condition and its just how people are borm. We all deserve equal rights. You will not win, which you already admit -- just like how the civil rights movement in the last century was unstoppable. We will get our rights, because we deserve them. Good people with open minds and accepting hearts will stand side by side and fight for what is RIGHT. And no cruel jokes, bitter attitudes, ignorant beliefs or prejudices will stop what is right.

Mikey said:

Faggots? Really? I'd pity you if I cared enough. What a miserable person you must be. One of Doug's most vocal supporters is calling us faggots. I'm so shocked. Yawn.

Cho said:

The point Doug was making was that you DIDN'T call him a Nazi, but he could say you did, just as he DIDN'T say that gays were below him, but you claimed he did. We have gotten far away from the ideological discussion at hand on both sides, which is why so many personal insults and inflammatory remarks are coming from both sides. This is not about gay marriage. This is not about whether Doug is good at arguing or not. You got the apology you wanted, after saying that it was the language that offended you. The point here, then, is whether it is right, logical, or possible to base all economic and artistic decisions on the viewpoint of creators, even if it is not related to the work itself. By getting personal (from calling gays "faggots" or Doug "a dick"), it is detracting from both sides and dragging the argument down.

Mikey said:

He didn't apologize. He made excuses for everything that he said, and said that we just took all of it out of context.

Yes. It is logical and right to pick and choose who you give your money to based on your personal ideals of morality.

I think the term boycott is being misused here, by a lot of us. I don't see a lot of protesting. What I see is a lot of people just saying they aren't going to buy his stuff anymore. As far as I know, there isn't some kind of movement. It's just consumers who are like "Uh...okay, no thanks."

You say something stupid - you risk losing fans (and their money). The end.

Cho said:

Personally (I cannot speak for Doug or anyone else on here), I do not feel the need to know a creator's particular bias on a subject to enjoy their work, and knowing it won't make me enjoy it any less. You use Mel Gibson on here a lot, but the reason I never buy anything Mel Gibson is because his movies generally stink, not because he got drunk and said some antisemitic things. Economic attacks may work on unfair taxes or business products, but I really doubt they will work on Doug's personal beliefs. The idea of not giving money to someone is to get them to change their minds. It is not going to happen here. Boycotting is supposed to be negative reinforcement, but you are using it as punishment, thereby rendering it useless. I fail to see how it solves anything. If someone says "I hate you," saying "then I'm never talking to you again!" does not help endear you to them. Being rational, kind, and mature would help more. If you want to keep comparing the gay movement to the civil rights movement (which I am loathe to do, but a majority of the commenters keep doing), look at it this way: It was not Malcolm X's philosophy that changed the country. Hearts were not converted by the sword. It was MLK Jr, who won whites over by showing how kind, tolerant, forgiving, and rational blacks can be. This whole thing is just going to push Doug, and his supporters, further from the cause. It is counterproductive.

And BTW, Doug did apologize:
"I'm really sorry to Gamescook for making that comment, I was trying to be tricky and make a point, but that's dirty pool on my part"

Mikey said:

At least Mel Gibson can blame his stupid comments on being drunk. Can't say the same for this guy.

Mikey said:

And you're wrong about the decision fans are making to not buy his work anymore. It's not to try to change him. It's because they don't want their money going into the pocket of someone who says things like that, and has beliefs that they perceive to go strongly against their morals.

This isn't like boycotting KFC so that they'll stop torturing chickens and be more humane. Nobody is trying to make the man in this discussion more humane. They're saying - oh, you feel that way? You said that? Then I'll take my money elsewhere. What he does with himself afterwards is irrelevant.

Cho said:

It seems odd that you say you don't want people with different opinions than you to earn money. It seems kind of childish, actually.
If you plan on asking (again), "would you buy something from a known racist?" Sure, I would, as long the money doesn't flow back to the KKK. Would I buy something from a known misogynist? Yup. Would I buy from someone gay? Yup.
To limit your worldview to only what you agree with, that is truly "hiding your head in the sand."

Q said:

"To limit your worldview to only what you agree with, that is truly "hiding your head in the sand." "

Umm...like saying gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married because your beliefs don't agree with it?

These apologists, man! Start making some sense!

CaptainOpinionsAwaaaaay said:

@Q
When you say, "your beliefs don't agree with it", do you mean because it says that in the Bible? Or because he actually believes it? He can say what he wants, and what he's saying is what he believes, not what's written in some book that's been re-translated and re-interpreted so many times that it probably doesn't match a thing that was actually said once upon a time. The book offers ideas, but it's up to the reader to decide if they actually believe it deep down. And Doug does, and he can't change that. Did he say he actively does anything to prevent it? Or that he has anything against homosexuals? No. He just believes, and he stated his beliefs.

Honestly, if you're aiming to be the more mature side of this silly argument, then stop trying to excuse your actions by accusing Doug of the same. He apologized already. You haven't. And you don't have to, but otherwise you're wasting your time on this discussion trying to point more fingers.

Cho said:

@Q

I do not see how being on the other side of an argument is limiting your world view. My point was, if you block out all people who say things you don't agree with it, you are limiting your world view. You see, Doug has not done that. He is on here, talking to you, listening to your arguments. He encouraged people to disagree and argue with him on his website until they got carried away and started threatening him and his family. Had he said "no gay people can read my comic" and ignored the outcry on this site, then I could see your point. He did not, however, so your "you do it too!" argument really has no merit.

There's nothing wrong with what he said; he has certain beliefs he is allowed to have, just like every other person.

Quite frankly I feel he handled it much better then how he could have. It's not like his web comic is full of gay hatred, it's not like he was shoving it in your face, he was asked a question and he answered it.

Get over it.

Gene DeCicco said:

On one hand it's true that he has an opinion and so he said it. So what? He spoke his mind. It's not like he has any influence on the state of the country. Many other conservs feel this way and way, way worse concerning this topic. Some go as far as to inflict physical harm upon gay men and women.

On the other hand. He's a comic book artist; who really cares what his political views are anyway? He and every entertainer should simply shut up and do their job, draw monkey-boy and collect your large pay checks. Ha!

Who cares that Mel Gibson, Charlie Sheen and Schwarzenegger all have made not so good life choices. They all aren't angels with perfectly clean souls... They all help to create great entertainment. That's their job. I'm tired of all of them frankly. Who gives a shit how many different kids of color Brad and Angelina, Madonna and Sandra Bullock have? Its because they have the money and wanted to have people stare and say how wonderful they are. Don't make it public. And the cretins who look up to these entertainers and give them that attention and power should be embarrassed and jump into a ceiling fan head first.
:)

YOU MAKE COMIC BOOKS, CARTOONS and GAMES for a living, it doesn't matter, in any way what your opinion is, about, well, anything really! Haha! Write a book, or make a statement with your art. Otherwise, close your pie hole and draw baby! DRAW! Because that's why I buy your comics. Not because I care about what you think. I think that the internet has ruined that too. Now everyone's opinion can have a venue for expression. No one cares.... or rather if people were living fulfilled lives, they wouldn't and shouldn't care.

Oh and Weiner is just bored with his boring life and wanted a little strange. He's a human animal. We are only one chromosome different from chimpanzees. So lets all, and I do mean ALL of us get off of our high horses and just live life. Make the best of it.

Unless you are in control of a majority of the people's welfare it doesn't matter what anyone in the entertainment industries thinks about anything accept what they do for a living. The same way I don't give a shit what a bus driver, subway conductor, sanitation worker or school teacher think about anything accept for what they do, respectively.

Maybe if we all just focused on doing our best at what we all do individually...maybe some good can come out of it. Ugh! LOL!

And girls who like girls who like rumble packs!

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