Q&A with Jeffrey Solomon (Santa Claus Is Coming Out): on GLSEN and Gay Santa
We're very used to I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus or to photo spreads of a lady curled up on Santa's lap. Apparently what makes Santa's lap sexual is when it's a gay lap.
So how do you feel about Christmas?
I'm Jewish. Reformed! But I was always head over heels in love with the Santa myth, totally enamored with the idea of this magical being that gave you anything you asked for. I loved all the Claymation specials, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Year Without a Santa Claus...
What's your favorite?
With the island of misfit toys?
Yeah. Growing up as a Jewish kid -- there were no kids in my town -- and being a gay kid and never having it talked about, I related to Rudolph.
Rudolph's a pretty amazing special when you think about it -- it really reached out beyond the mainstream to kids who felt left out.
Yeah.I think all the specials produced in the 70s have a little bit of a non-conformist message. Rudolph especially.
Rudolph's in the play. He's the first person, or creature, that Santa comes out to, by dint of his sensitivity to difference. And Rudolph has gone on, in his adult life, to create the Misfit Task Force, which later became the Christmas Town Diversity Committee, whose mission is to make the workshop more inclusive by opening the workshop to elves of color, They've put in access ramps throughout Santa's workshop...
What do you want for Christmas?
For Hanukkah? I would like full houses. It really is a fun show and people come out laughing. It's a gift for me to be able to play it every night, and I think audiences see it that way too.