Ivy League prof: Rudolph is 'queerest holiday special' even though conservatives will be 'infuriated'

  • A Columbia University professor has declared Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer a "queer" icon.
  • Professor Jennifer Boylan said she knew the assertion would leave conservatives "infruiated," but that conservatives "miss the point" of Christmas anyway.

"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a “queer” icon whether “conservatives” like it or not, according to one Ivy League professor.

Columbia University English professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, has offered a whole new take on the classic Christmas claymation "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," claiming that the film is “the queerest holiday special ever” in a recent New York Times opinion piece. 

“conservatives seem to miss the point of a lot of things having to do with Christmas"   

Boylan began a gender transition to live as a woman at the age of 42. In her article, she compares her life experience to the Christmas classic, saying, “the subtext of this ridiculous story was the truth of my own improbable life. A fabulously blond elf who doesn’t like to make toys? A reindeer who is cast out by those who are supposed to love him, on account of an accident of birth?”

Boylan notes that she expects “conservatives” to be “infuriated by this suggestion,” adding that “conservatives seem to miss the point of a lot of things having to do with Christmas.” This supposedly includes that Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ employs a “fundamental critique of capitalism”

“But please. Do enjoy your $60 Keep America Great hat tree ornament finished in 24-karat gold,” Boylan wrote.


The professor argues that the journeys of the film’s central characters, Rudolph and his friend Hermey the Elf, represents the ability to “gain agency over your own life,” adding that her experience is likely shared among those who identify as LGBTQ. 

“And then, there’s Hermey the Elf. Beautiful and blond where all the other elves resemble bulbous-nosed Vulcans, all he wants is to be able to be himself (a dentist, in fact), instead of being forced to toil in Santa’s soul-crushing toy factory… Sometimes I dream of seeing an elderly, grown-up Hermey making one of those ‘It Gets Better’ videos,” she writes. 

[RELATED: College forbids student group from using the word 'Christmas']

“There’s plenty of queer code in Christmastown,” Boylan insists. “After Rudolph’s red nose shines in his father Donner’s cave, for instance, causing Donner a curiously profound mortification, the old man comes up with a fake nose for his boy to wear. You know: so as not to offend The Straights.”

“Maybe it goes without saying that this is exactly how I felt, putting on a coat and tie to go to my right-wing, all-boys high school, before coming out as trans years later,” the professor continued before going on to ascribe hidden meaning to the fact that Rudolph was voiced by a middle-aged woman.

Boylan declined to comment to Campus Reform.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter:@TonyDLeonardi



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Anthony Leonardi
Anthony Leonardi | Staff Writer at Washington Examiner

Anthony Leonardi is a Staff Writer at Washington Examiner. Prior to joining the Washington Examiner, Anthony was a Florida Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse at the University of Florida. He graduated with a degree in Political Science and minored in History and Mass Communications. Anthony was also active with Young Americans for Freedom and Turning Point USA.