Cornelius is what we would now call a bear, an older, hirsute gay man who embraces an over-the-top masculinity, despite being gay. The Random House dictionary definition of icon is: Tony Bravo, you think everything is a gay allegory.
When Rudolph starts to playfully rut with Fireball after Clarice calls him "cute," his nose starts to glow under its condom and is revealed. Suddenly, the nose that was his cause for scorn becomes his most celebrated feature. Rudolph meets future closet case Fireball that tuft of red hair didn't style itself who, in his eagerness to prove how straight he is, befriends Rudolph at the Reindeer Games and tells him it's "a great place to impress the does!
There was a problem completing your request. There is one word that hasn't yet lost its meaning through all of this cultural watering down of the language, and that word is GRACE. Not only is our red-nosed friend a seasonal gay allegory, but he's one that generations of children have grown up with, through the song gay and the stop-motion Rank and Bass special that plays every year on an ABC Family loop extremely gay.
But Rudolph is special. But Rudolph takes off in the middle of the night, still afraid that his very obvious red nose will bring the wrath of the Abominable Snow Monster, a fanged embodiment of violent homophobia. He speaks with a Paul Lynde cadence, as if his ascot is tied on a little too tight.