The US Postal Service has celebrated Bugs Bunny’s status as a genderfluid icon with two stamps showing him in drag.
As one of the greatest American cartoon characters of all time, the carrot-munching Bugs has influenced generations of kids.
And his zany Looney Tunes cartoons often showed him dressing up as a woman to trick his adversary Elmer Fudd. In a few instances, the two even got married and lived together.
Now the US Postal Service has marked the 80th anniversary of his official screen debut with a series of 10 designs.
And two of them feature Bugs in drag.
One stamp shows Bugs dressed as Richard Wagner’s powerful female figure Brunhilde – the most famous character in opera. That comes from the 1957 animation What’s Opera, Doc? – a pun on Bugs’ catchphrase ‘Eh… what’s up, doc?’
The second shows Bugs as a saucy mermaid in a blond wig and red lipstick. It’s taken from the 1944 animation, Hare Ribbin’.
Bugs Bunny was ‘my first positive queer representation’
The stamps’ release have prompted people on social media to comment on how Bugs Bunny was their first introduction to the LGBT+ world.
In fact, back in 2016, RuPaul told The Hollywood Reporter that: ‘Bugs Bunny was my first introduction to drag!’
Likewise, in the Netflix documentary Disclosure about trans representation in Hollywood, trans historian Susan Stryker and trans director Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix) agreed Bugs Bunny held a unique place in US queer cultural history.
Skryker said: ‘When I was growing up in the 60s… the only, only positive representation of anything transfeminine was anything Bugs Bunny. When Bugs Bunny was doing “girl,” Bugs Bunny was desirable and powerful.’
Moreover, echoing that, one Reddit user welcoming the stamps said:
‘I don’t think a single character has ever been responsible for awakening both more trans people and more furries as kids than Bugs Bunny.’
And a Twitter user commented Bugs was the ‘first positive queer representation I saw in my life’.
The USPS has previously issued stamps celebrating the late gay politician Harvey Milk. However, experts say these are the first time it’s shown drag on its stamps.
So it seems the world’s most popular trickster is an American cultural institution, the official mascot of Warner Bros and now an official queer icon.
You can buy the Bugs Bunny Forever stamp sheets on the USPS website.