Thanks, Nate. I still watch it nearly every year. I resonate with Rudolph for my own adolescence, being shamed, made fun of, always picked last on the team.
I guess until you own who you are, your gifts, your uniqueness, the opinions of others will haunt you.
I might as a postscript to the piece. While the time was 1964, a year before I was born, there are aspects of a “cautionary tale” going on. It makes me ask, who were the writers? Who had the hidden (or was it?) agenda to make this a queer tale?
On one level the queerness (difference) is so apparent to me I can’t help but wonder, how many gay men (assumption) worked on this cartoon?
This is why I don’t cringe when I watch it. I see the homophobia and heteronormativity of the time for what it was, but there was a profound hope expressed, even if it wasn’t “perfect.”