I watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 06, 2000

I watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on TV last night…you know, the old stop-motion, family classic. A couple lessons learned:

- It’s not ok to be different, unless you have a useful skill or profession, like dentistry or saving Christmas.

- Any important task is a man’s job. Womenfolk need not apply.

And then there’s the question of Rudolph’s young dentist friend: Is he gay? It certainly would seem so from watching the movie and from all the clues that are dropped: doesn’t fit in with the rest of the elves (who are presumably heterosexual), has hair (none of the other male elves have hair, but the female ones do), has a high voice, and has a pointy nose (the other male elves have big, rounded noses; the female elves have pointy ones). Hermey the Elf could be one of the first portrayals of a (I would say, openly) gay character on television that is portrayed in a (relatively) positive light. Pretty good for a children’s holiday special made in 1964.