Ugh, There’s Already a Petition Against Finland’s Gay Stamps

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Image via Itella. Used with permission.

Welp, that sure didn’t take long. There is already a petition circulating to stop the Finnish postal service, Itella, from issuing the overtly homoerotic stamps of Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland.

According to a translation of the petition provided by Niina Sormunen of the Thrifty Finn, the petitioners view the stamps as neither “aesthetically pleasing” nor “culturally valuable.” Amusing since they also call Laaksonen a “gay icon” which seems to indicate an awareness of some amount of cultural significance.

NO Tom of Finland-stamps to Finland!

We, the signed, demand that Itella won’t publish the planned homoerotic stamp set. Itella plans to publish a stamp to honour artist and gay icon Touko Laaksonen (1920-1991). The sexual orientation of the men in the images don’t leave room for any interpretation.

We don’t want Finland to be represented on homeland and international shipping with homoerotic themes. Traditionally stamps have shown themes that are aesthetically beautiful and culturally valuable. Strong homoerotic theme in stamps is not either.

In the future we want Itella to think more carefully how to select themes that all Finns can be proud of. At the same time we want to thank them for all the beautiful stamps, we have been proud to use on our mail.

Sounds to me like this is less a case of Laaksonen’s work lacking artistic merit or cultural value, and more a case of, “THIS OFFENDS ME, THEREFORE IT’S BAD ART, OR NOT ART, OR HARDCORE GAY PORNOGRAPHY, AND DON’T ASK ME HOW I KNOW IT’S HARDCORE GAY PORNOGRAPHY, I JUST KNOW, OKAY?!”

Suuuuuure, anti-Laaksonen Finns. We believe you. Really.

h2sdfolpycf6k6lbl6rpBY: Kat Callahan

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What car would TOM drive?

60-Second Car Review:
2014 Chevrolet SS, What Tom of Finland Would Drive

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If you like muscles, and you like cars, well, we’re gonna get along great. And we’d both probably agree that the big brute Chevrolet SS sport sedan is a decadent delight.

It’s Chevy’s flagship car, with rear-wheel drive, polished wheels, fat tires and a big stonkin’ V-8 with a delicious exhaust rumble that hearkens back to the olden days of American car glory.

But this isn’t like your dad’s old Caprice Classic. This is more of a badass, like a Dodge Charger SRT-8 without the obnoxiousness. It’s also a relative bargain, at just $45,770, and it’s fully loaded. Everything from supportive sport seats, leather and faux suede upholstery to a whomping sound system is standard.

There are no options other than color, with a palette that ranges from subtle—sage green, silver or white, for you stealth speeders—to aggressive—red—to dapper—jet black or, as I like to think of it, Tom of Finland’s choice.

Ah, there’s an image I’ll go to bed with tonight.

 

By Steve SilerF-LA-Web-Interior-logo

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Does TOM stereotype?

It appears all of Tom of Finland’s men – Black and White and in-between – have huge cocks and big butts. Is he stereotyping Gays? Does that mean we really all have bigger dicks than Straights?? (Let ‘em think we do…)

What Tom didn’t draw were stereotypes they put on us. Society chose to type Homosexuals as weak, girly, lesser than – thereby controllable. Tom made us strong and self-assured; we could be anything we wanted to be – cops, soldiers, sportsmen, bikers – rock stars, performers – anything.

TOM’s Men, as we call them, would “top” at the beginning of a story and “bottom” a few pages later. Tom drew Black masters with White slaves. And White masters with Black slaves. He went out of his way to break down the “I-don’t-suck-dick-I’m-a-top” mold we even imposed on ourselves.

Tom drew hardcore scenes, and soft and tender relationships – partners always satisfied… We see unbelievable chests and ridiculous waists. He drew fuck buddies and lovers lost. He drew men-lovin’-men and men-lovin’-women. He showed us interracial sex long before you saw it in Hetero culture. TOM’s Men are European, American, African and mixed (and yes, even Asian, Native and Latino).

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TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled, 1990, Pastel on paper, ToFF #90.03, © 1990 Tom of Finland Foundation

In the work above, the Leatherman has a somewhat substantial pouch (I’ve see bigger at 665),  his “bubble” doesn’t appear to be over-inflated – kind of a regular guy (OK, some would kill for those abs). Multiculturalism and “colorblindness” bring with them a new complexity of issues. Tom drew fantasies, gods, our heroes, our friends, and the kind of people we would like to know – and be.

Tom of Finland is not easy to type cast – except as a great liberator.

-Sharp, VP | Curator, ToFF

 

 

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