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.
BY: Kat Callahan