In this article, the author (an opera fan) ponders the fact that often in the Bugs Bunny cartoons Bugs would get up in drag to confuse Elmer Fudd who would flip from homicidal rage to mooning suitor like binary code depending on Bugs' attire. In at least one extended example of this dynamic (the subject event of the article) the two perform an entire opera together.
But rather than get into the question of whether Bugs is a stand-in for the Italian operatic tradition of the cross-dressing castrato (I think the author makes a compelling argument that he is), I was struck by how I had completely missed on the relationship between Elmer and Bugs as having such an obvious gay subtext at all.
(I know, I know, but I'm classic for this. I loved the band Queen long before I realized that the 'Queen' wasn't a chess referrence, and I loved the music of both Depeche Mode and The Smiths before I paid any close attention to the lyrics - I guess I'd say I have good taste in music and really lousy gaydar).
I mean think about Fudd for a minute. He's short, bald, and socially inept. He is consumed with only two passions, 'hunting wabbits', and Bugs in drag. He compensates for his shortcomings by carrying a shotgun. There are no women in his life.
On occasion he shoots a load of buckshot into Daffy Duck's face. Or elsewhere.
Isn't he a classic case of gay repression? Fudd only stops his lunatic obsession of killing Bugs when Bugs puts on the heels.
And now consider how much Bugs plays the new role up - he's hardly an infrequent cross dresser apparently having many outfits handy, and (as I recall) even gets his makeup on like a pro.
And now think about how the two characters, with Bugs in drag throughout, perform an entire OPERA together.
And until I read the article, I honestly had made no conscious connection between the events portrayed and the reality that Bugs was a cross-dresser tormenting a very repressed Fudd.
(Kind of like the 'Oh. Duh! How exactly did I miss what 'This Charming Man' was about?' moment I had after I finally read a lyric sheet from The Smiths).
That all said, I am proud to say that at least I knew He-Man was totally gay from the moment his cartoon hit the tube.