8th May is TOM’s birthday. EVERY 8th May from here on – all over the globe – friends and fans of TOM, his art and his messages should come together for a toast, a party – why not a full-on celebration? Let’s make it an official TOM day!
TOM’s cake at TOM House, 2013
TOM really deserves hero status for all he gave to our culture and foremost what he gave to developing Homosexuals, starting at a time when we had no positive role models with which to identify.
Alli Ruth, LA Band of Brothers, LA Mr. Leather 2013, friends and family at TOM’s party, 2013.
We’ll raise a glass, enjoy ourselves and be sexy with absolutely no shame or guilt – TOM style!
TOM OF FINLAND (Touko Laaksonen, Finnish, 1920 – 1991), Untitled, c. 1946, Gouache on paper, 10.94” x 8.00”, Tom of Finland Foundation Permanent Collection #46.05, © Tom of Finland Foundation
Tom kept this work in his private collection
till the creation of his foundation where it now resides.
Touko Laaksonen inherited Beauty from his parents,
his upbringing steeped in Æsthetics.
He matured into an Artist who created
more than one masterwork yet
never had any formal Art training.
Schooled at the piano, self-taught with a pencil.
The consummate Homosexual.
From Tom of Finland – Life and Work of a Gay Hero
Tom of Finland’s real name is Touko –
because he was born 8th May 1920,
on the south coast of Finland,
and May in Finnish is “Toukokuu”.
Thank you to Jay Jorgensen for this perfect picture above of
Jay Lawton doing what he loved. And what we loved him for.
JAY R. LAWTON
20TH JULY 1961 – 23RD APRIL 2013
Jay Lawton was always knowing. He certainly knew what he wanted. It was very rewarding watching him mature as a photographer, not always an easy path he chose.
Jay came to Tom of Finland Foundation eager. He helped by documenting thousands of objects with his camera. He recorded our events as eventful. He acquired a quiet confidence that he took with him to all other kinds of events but he was adopted by the Leather community. His reputation was built on earnestness and dignity (and always being on time!).
Jay knew the right thing to do. He cared for his mother, not always something easy. He gave more than few of us think we can afford. He asked for what was fair – and right. He learned the right way to shoot and learned how to get the shots he wanted. All the lessons he learned as he was learning were not easy ones. He was sometimes discouraged but incapable of bitterness.
Jay was thoughtful and wise and we wish he was around so he could accomplish all he wanted. We are grateful for every moment we got to spend together and will miss that knowing grin…
We invite you to view this gallery to revisit Jay Lawton’s work
(and to see just a few of his thousands of friends).
Let’s get together to roast our dear friend
with a open mic for those with a 90 second speech.
Jay Rooney Lawton was born July 20, 1961 and moved to Los Angeles in 1979 to pursue a career in the film industry. For over a decade Lawton ran his own fine art studio, JayPG Photography. During his life he was the primary documentarian of the Los Angeles leather scene, capturing bar events, working with Tom of Finland Foundation, and acting as principle photographer for the Mr. Los Angeles Leather contest. He passed away from liver cancer.