Finland’s New Homoerotic Stamps
You’ve never seen stamps like this.
Just as the United States rolls out its new Harvey Milk stamp, which goes on sale in May, to honor the LGBT movement, Finland revealed its new homoerotic stamps, which celebrates artist Tom of Finland. And they are amazing.
According to Slate, Finland plans to release the stamps this fall. In a statement by Itella Posti Oy, a postal service industry in Finland similar to U.S.P.S., the stamps will showcase artwork by the "confident and proud homoeroticism" of Tom of Finland, born Touko Laaksonen, known for his fetish art.
Laaksonen died in 1991 at the age of 71 but created over 3,5000 illustrations in 40 years. Itella says the artist is "beyond question the most influential creator of gay pornographic illustration."
"His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion," the site reads. "In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures. ... The drawings on the stamp sheet represent strong and confident male figures typical of their designer."
The stamps will be released around the same time as an exhibition of Laaksonen’s work at Finland’s Postal Museum.
Itella worked with graphic artist Timo Berry and Susanna Luoto in order to select the works that will appear on the stamps.
Despite the progressive and inclusive move, Finland has yet to recognize same-sex marriage and transgender citizens can only legally change their gender after they are surgically sterilized.