Once a long-standing bigotry like homophobia starts to become unacceptable to the mainstream, the last remaining advocates of said prejudice go from looking hateful to comical. Case in point: The new documentary feature I Am Santa, executive produced by Morgan Spurlock, is kicking up a furor in some corners of the professional mall Santa universe for featuring a gay St. Nick. The “ho ho homo” in question is none other than Jim Stevenson, the Arlington-based Santa and longtime member of Fort Worth’s Trinity River Bears who was interviewed for the Weekly’s 2013 TRB feature.

The well-reviewed I Am Santa, which is now available on iTunes and Netflix, profiles seasonal St. Nicks from around the country, including one hard-drinking Irish Santa and another –– a ho ho hetero –– who moonlights as a bouncer at a sex club. But it seems that only Stevenson –– who’s seen in the movie casually discussing his committed relationship with another man –– has jingled the bells of right-wing Santas, who’ve taken to social media to grumble about this “abomination to bearded Santas” who “makes a mess of Santa and gets away with it.” To get a better sense of their whiny bag of coal, read the Vice interview with documentary director Tommy Avallone. My favorite part of that Q&A is when the interviewer asks Avallone: “Are there a lot of bear Santas?” The director’s response: “I think a bear is usually a hairy, heavy man, so it’s likely that some of them would want to play Santa. I don’t think it’s a thing, though.”


  1. Santa should at least look healthy, which being grossly overweight, with gray facial features does not correlate. Long beards on anyone look untidy.

    • I am a fan of Santa Clause since 1939, a big fan. I sat on his lap every year at Leonard Brothers Toy Land downtown until I was 14. Only a communist or that Peckerwood Repug Police Chief in Ferguson, Missouri would suggest Santa immitate George W. Bush or some similar cracker dip-stick. Get it right.