Written by Brent Corrigan
I had the most magical day on Thursday.
If you follow me on Twitter you might already know that I was invited to shoot at the Tom of Finland house in Echo Park (Los Angeles, right near Dodger’s Stadium).
Tom of Finland is an icon in the queer world.
In my opinion, ToF is one of the most substantial legacies we have to boast as a community.
I know saying that probably will have all of the PC, socially prejudicial asshole queens up in arms (don’t agree? See ample sexually explicit sketches produced by the master). But try to shed yourself of that BS notion that we’re only going to survive or THRIVE if we assimilate and domesticate. Unfortunately, we’re really not all that much like the rest of them. And you should be PROUD of the fact that you’re an individual that thinks outside of the box.
The thing about being queer is, for the longest we had to find out own way of leaving our mark on the world. For breeders, it’s as simple as having children (or so they think, many of them). But even procreation isn’t a sure bet (so many parents are plainly just disappointed with how their offspring turn out). For homosexuals, it has often about a body of work. Accomplishments. It’s like what happens when you make a eunuch, in a way. Sometimes you have to suffer, or leave a big part of yourself behind, to become a true master. Again, that’s a brash comparison. BUT, think about it. If we don’t have the stress and frustration of having to rear children, then we have all kinds of time, energy, money and TALENT to put into other things. Divert all of that energy to bringing up a child or two the right way and not much is left for a parent. Or the rest of the community, even. The eunuchs were considered the cream of the crop of choir. Not just because their voices never deepened, but also, if you can imagine, because they never had the distraction of wanting/needing to plug it somewhere. Phew, I wasn’t sure I was going to make draw that comparison and get back the the topic at hand fast enough . . .
With that, you’re invited to TOM House to celebrate the anniversary of Tom’s birth. This Thursday, May 8th in Los Angeles. There will be a Brent Corrigan Kissing Booth, Pin-the-Dick on the Tom and rampant Gin & Tonics (TOM’s favorite cocktail). I’ll be there in my riding gear keeping the uniform tradition alive. Come in leather! There is no admittance, we just ask that you patronize the features and buy plenty of liquor at the bar. All proceeds go to the Foundation TOM started. More information found here: Tom of Finland Foundation Facebook page and TOM’s Foundation on Twitter
I’m hoping to pack the place – not only with fans and admirers of his work – but with other artists of all kinds of mediums! Photographers, Painters, Sculptures, Carpenters, Actors, Models! Come one, come all! And let’s celebrate with our world what it really means to leave a legacy.
We don’t all have to be the perverts they expect us to be. But the ones that are just naturally that way, shouldn’t be trying to be someone else. Take me, for example. I tried for 4 years to live life on what some might say “the up and up”. And all I have to show for it is coming right back ’round to where I was before I tried to change peoples’ opinions of me. Turns out I’ve always been a voyeur, exhibitionist butt-boy pervert. And who I really needed to pursued about that fact was . . . simply put: me. From where I’m standing, I’m not at all ashamed of that. And I can’t see any reason for why I should be.
Tom of Finland has had an influence on me. His work has helped me be more free. More ME. His art is a fixture in our world and it’s appreciated by so very many of us. I know, when I look at his art, when I feel the things I feel (not just the “stirrings”, but the appreciation for male form, his ability to shade and grade unlike any other motherfucker, and his eye for composition) and I feel them with the rest of us. Can you dig that?
So, Thursday I was invited to shoot with their current Artist-in-Residence. A boy named Stuart Sandford from London. Check out his work. Stuart was sent to me by way of Alex, from Tie Dye Undies. Are you starting to see how being connected art is being connected to life? How and why it is that we should all do our little part to support/love/connect/create with the art world? When you do, you not only make shit happen for others – but you broaden your own near sighted horizons. (No disrespect or offense by that comment, but we all know we get stuck in a bit of a repetitive “rut” at times).
Without Alex and Stuart, I would not have been introduced to Tom of Finland Foundation. I would not have had one of the most beautiful, inspiring afternoons that I have had, quite honestly, in too, too long. It’s sad. But also optimistic.
I volunteered. I told the guys that run TOM House and the Foundation (men I hope to learn so very much from, men I already respect tremendously) that I was theirs for whatever they need – oh come on, get yo’ mind outa the guttuh 🙂
By that I meant I’d help in anyway possible to see the Foundation manage the legacy of Tom of Finland as best as they see fit. Even if that means scrubbing fucking toilets at the house turned museum. I’ll help in any way that a young, able bodied man can be of service! It’s the least I could do for Tom, a person that has left an indelible impression on me. A man that has newly inspired me to get off my ass and do a bit more. There’s always room for more. Right?
SPL aka Brent Corrigan