Helsinki, Tom of Finland Style

We explore everything from the artist’s favorite restaurant to after hour cruising spots.

Photo of Terry Miller by Mikko Rasila

“A cruising spot made famous by its inclusion in the Tom of Finland movie, released in 2017. The cobblestone road leads from the Helsinki Observatory to town, bracketed by large trees and shady areas perfect for spotting your new Finnish boyfriend.” -Terry Miller

Few artists have had as big an impact on gay culture as Touko Laaksonen, better known as Tom of Finland. Not only was he prolific (Tom created somewhere near 3,500 illustrations in his 40 year career), but the hyper-sexualized, masculine men featured in his work are nothing short of iconic.



These Queer Artists Were Censored on Social Media. Now, They’re Fighting Back

STUART SANDFORD, Brent [ii], 2014

“This exhibition is a form of protest, really,” says curator and exhibiting artist Gio Black Peter.

“We removed your post because it doesn’t follow [Instagram’s] community guidelines. If you violate our guidelines again, your account may be restricted or disabled.”

That vague, fateful warning is one Gio Black Peter has received time and time again. To date, Peter, a queer New York-based visual artist, has cycled through 10 Instagram accounts, 15 Facebook pages, two YouTube accounts, and four Vimeo profiles. And he’s not alone: For queer fine artists‚ particularly those whose work includes nudity, censorship on social media is an unfortunate reality. These platforms—all vital networking assets and creative tools for working artists in the digital age—are notorious for their harsh censorship practices, especially when it comes to nudity.

That cautionary message from Instagram ended up becoming the inspiration for The Violators, a new art exhibition slated to open at New York’s Studio UZI this Friday, July 27. Curated by Peter, The Violators features photography, collages, and multimedia artworks from 15 LGBTQ artists whose work has been censored or banned from popular social media platforms.

To attend the opening event or visit the gallery, email Gio Black Peter at