ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

Has it ever occurred to you to wonder exactly why Santa's ninth reindeer was given such a shiny red nose? Have you ever stopped to question whether reindeers practice same-sex relations, or if would be tolerant if they did? Have you ever found yourself thinking that maybe 's shimmering snout was actually an elaborate metaphor for his raging homosexuality?

No? Well me neither, that is at least until today. Brian Moylan at Vulture Magazine has pulled back the glistening rainbow curtains that were previously preventing me from seeing the truth that was before my very eyes and now I too am convinced that Rudolph from is, in his words:

"Totally, absolutely, 100 percent, Neil-Patrick-Harris-French-kissing-Ricky-Martin gay."

And, he wasn't even the first to pick up on the rather blatant gay subtext of the movie:

Rudolph's Blatantly Gay Subtext

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer [Credit: NBC]
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer [Credit: NBC]

The film begins shortly after Rudolph's birth which sees him immediately being shunned for being different when he is but a babe in arms. Upon discovering his son's obscure () defect, Rudolph's father Donner recoils in horror stating:

“How can you overlook that? His beak blinks like a blinking beacon!”

Then in marches the epitome of throbbing heterosexual masculinity, St Nick himself, who backs Donner up by exclaiming:

“Great bouncing Icebergs!”

A less subtle reference to Mrs. Claus's bountiful mammaries, and by extension Santa's heterosexual persuasions, you'll be hard pressed to find. Once it's established that Rudolph's nose, or should I say, his aversion to bouncing icebergs, becomes too much for Santa's homophobic community to tolerate, Rudolph exiles himself out into the wilds to fend for himself.

However after cruising around the woods and meeting a veritable village of assorted queers, Rudolph returns home in a story that is essentially about the importance of coming out and being accepted by your loved ones. Here's how he does it.

Rudolph Is Forced To Hide His Gay Nose In A Black Cap Of Closeted Shame

With his family, his employer and his peers all mocking him for his raging gay agenda, his parents plead with Rudolph to cover his shame with a black cap of closeted suffering. Donner is completely unsympathetic to his sons suffering, and says he's going to "play reindeer games" with the other boys just as he is supposed to, or as the narrator tells us:

“For a year the Donner family did a good job hiding Rudolph’s — non-conformity.”

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Meanwhile, A Queer Ally Lies In Wait, Dreaming Of 'Dentistry'

While Rudolph is busy closeting himself for the benefit of his parents, Hermey, the only elf with hair (and quite a delightfully blonde wave of it too) is also struggling with his desire to become a dentist rather than working on the grueling toy factory line. Although dentistry may not be the first thing you think of with regards to the gay agenda, Hermey's doll-like feminine appearance, his soft voice and his clear difference to his bald, aggressive elf peers is clearly a metaphor for him, like Rudolph, being a homosexual.

But with Hermey there's a twist. While Rudolph at least attempts to closet himself for those around him, Hermey flat out refuses, deciding that above all things, he must be true to himself and follow his unusual career choice, wherever it may take him. Turning his back on Santa's workshop, Hermey flings himself into the forrest in an attempt to set up his own "dental practice."

Rudolph & Hermey Meet A 'Bear' In The 'Woods'

Having stumbled upon each other in the wilderness of homosexual exiles, Rudolph and Hermey solidify their solidarity by, naturally, bursting into song in which Rudolph uses his solo verse as a rallying cry for all closeted homosexuals :

"Why am I such a misfit? I am not just a nit wit! I'm an adorable reindeer Why don't I fit in?"

Deciding that being rejected for their homosexuality is in fact, ridiculous, Rudolph and Hermey are soon stumbled upon by the towering Yukon Cornelius, a lumbersexual who emits testosterone from every pore, and who consequently fits the description of an ultra-masculine homosexual otherwise known as a "bear." Banding together, the three "misfits" make their way to a mysterious island of homosexual dalliances.

The Motley Crew Enter A Homosexual Haven

Rudolph, Hermey and Yukon eventually wind up on the Island of Misfit Toys, a land in which difference, and therefore homosexuality, is not only tolerated, but it is the norm. Made up of other homosexuals who have also had to flee their homes because of rampant homophobia, the Island of Misfit Toys is essentially what Berghain looks like on a Sunday afternoon:

However, more than anything, the homosexual inhabitants of the Island of Misfits yearn to be accepted by society so they can return to their lives beyond their little enclave of tolerance. Eventually the Misfits leader, King Moonracer, convinces Rudolph to persuade Santa that misfit toys are valuable too and so begins Rudolph's return journey as the exiled prodigal son.

The Gays Triumph Over The Snow Monster Of Homophobia

On his long journey home, the newly empowered Rudolph has one final test: the great Snow Monster of homophobia. Learning that the monster is heading towards his loved ones, Rudolph rushes to protect his parents but is crushed by the heaving physical embodiment of homophobic rage. Thankfully, his queer allies Heremy and Cornelius are there to save the day, defeating the Snow Monster and removing his fangs, proving that gay men have their place in society too and sometimes, just sometimes, this place is right at the front of Santa's sleigh:


What would you most like to do on the Island of Misfit Toys?


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