Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the flight to San Francisco.
Touko Laaksonen, the man who would become known by the name, “Tom of Finland”, was born in Finland on 8th May 1920 and named for the month in which he was born (the month of May in Finnish is toukokuu). He chose “Tom” for his mark since it is closer to “Touko” than any other name in English.
Touko was born in Kaarina, at the southwestern tip of the country, near Turku, the ancient capital of Finland. The modern seaport of Turku has grown so much since his birth that Kaarina is now a dynamic, thriving town of its own, but back in the ’20s the area where he grew up was more country than town, a checkerboard of fields and forest.