Finland | News | Tom of Finland

Finland to Issue 'Tom of Finland' Postage Stamps: VIDEO


Finland is set to release postage stamps honoring the work of gay artist Tom of Finland:

The artist, whose work celebrates the male form and Itella describes as ‘proud homoeroticism’, was selected by graphic designer Timo Berry.

"The sheet (of stamps) portrays a sensual life force and being proud of oneself. There is never too much of that in this northern country," said Berry in an Itella press release.

The sheet of three stamps is to be released in September in conjunction with a new Postal Museum planned for the Vapriikki centre in Tampere.

Enjoy a 'making of' video (work-unfriendly), in Finnish, and a great bonus clip about the Tom of Finland Foundation in Echo Park, California, AFTER THE JUMP...


Here's the mini-doc on Tom's studio (from here):

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  1. wow. I won't mind licking that!

    Posted by: Tom | Apr 15, 2014 12:08:50 PM

  2. APPLAUSE! Thank you Finland!

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 15, 2014 12:12:45 PM

  3. I guess there are three or four images that aren't X-rated from Tom.

    Posted by: anon | Apr 15, 2014 12:26:59 PM

  4. I dislike the way the guys in his illustrations play dress-up: the cop, the sailor, the leather, the tight jeans. He has completely sexualized the gay man and it's no wonder some straight people think of us as narrow, self-obsessed and, vain with lives revolving around restroom blow jobs and cornholing in the park bushes.

    Posted by: will | Apr 15, 2014 12:35:40 PM

  5. Order these and add them to all your envelopes addressed to Tony Perkins. You don't have to say a word.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 15, 2014 12:40:46 PM

  6. Will, I prefer corn holing in restrooms and blow jobs in the bushes, but to each his own I suppose.

    Posted by: ger | Apr 15, 2014 12:41:27 PM

  7. Itella, the Finnish postal service, says on its website that the issue date will be September 9, 2014. At the moment it appears they are not taking advance orders, but as it gets closer to release date I'd expect to see First Day Covers, presentation packages, all the usual bells and whistles that philatelists love. See

    Posted by: Elsewhere1010 | Apr 15, 2014 1:19:06 PM

  8. Itella, the Finnish postal service, says on its website that the issue date will be September 9, 2014. At the moment it appears they are not taking advance orders, but as it gets closer to release date I'd expect to see First Day Covers, presentation packages, all the usual bells and whistles that philatelists love. See

    Posted by: Elsewhere1010 | Apr 15, 2014 1:19:06 PM

  9. This is a surprise. Itella, former Post, is taking a very liberal step. I haven't seen too much critic about this. Wonderful way to show variety of arts (there are plenty of different arts in Finnish stamps).
    @Will, you noticed the point of his art. I saw in a document he accepted only pics he thought were material for you know what. Just enjoy the pics.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Apr 15, 2014 1:32:21 PM

  10. Will, honey, unclutch the pearls. Perhaps you are not every aware of the long history of male erotica (gay or otherwise) to grasp the significance of Tom of Finland or his art.

    Just to explain Tom of Finland a little: his art gave visual substance and voluptuous realization to gay male fantasies of sensual and sexual encounters with varied hyper-masculine stereotypes: cops, policemen, soldiers, sailors, firemen, et al.

    Tom of Finland's men might have been gay. They might have not been gay. But they were men who reveled and delighted in the sensual pleasures of having sex with other men in a variety of erotic encounters.

    Tom of Finland's depictions of such erotica is of another era, perhaps, but timeless in my opinion. His "Kaki" series are priceless and I am quite proud to have a limited, numbered portfolio of drawings by him.

    For the record, this queer could care less what "some" straight people think of me or other queers like me. That has always been the joy of being queer: feeling quite comfortable and righteous in my queerness to tell straight people to go f*ck themselves if their opinion of me doesn't pass their regressive muster.

    I also think a furtive blow-job in the bushes is still about as hot as it can get.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Apr 15, 2014 1:33:47 PM

  11. call them "hyper-masculine stereotypes" if you will, but in the long run adoration of proto-nazis will come back to bite politically

    Posted by: unokhan | Apr 15, 2014 1:45:02 PM

  12. I will be one of the first in line at the post office in September to buy these stamps! I met Touko in person in the late 80s in Helsinki and it was a privilege. You should have seen the men in his Company!!!! Mark of Finland (hehe)

    Posted by: Mark | Apr 15, 2014 1:49:34 PM

  13. @ Ger - there's one in every crowd.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Apr 15, 2014 1:51:09 PM

  14. I'm with JAMAL49 on this one. The people who see us as stereotypes are not usually the ones who are open minded enough to be open to changing their opinions of us anyway.
    I, for one, used to hunt for Tom's artwork. I fully embrace the men he depicted, and the manner in which he depicted them.

    Posted by: Reggie777 | Apr 15, 2014 1:55:41 PM

  15. Jamal: No pearls clutched as I don't own any. -- At 37, I'm not young anymore, but I find it hard to identify with a generation of gay men that lives (lived) mainly for sex. Anonymous adult bookstore sex, bathroom stalls, the YMCA, park foliage. It's no wonder our community was ripe for STDs and neurosis and self-loathing which are probably consequences of body obsession and self-obsession and social ostracization.

    I understand the reasons gay men went to parks and public restrooms in the first place starting in the 1930s (I read Tennessee Williams' journals and he was forever having rampant sex in Y's and cruising parks): gay men could be easily arrested indoors, in hotel rooms, so they took it outside and developed a series of signs of gestures for police.

    At any rate, I'm glad we're out of the era of sleazy meeting places and bad self-images and the pathetic lifestyles of "The Boys in the Band." I think we're in a psycholgically healthier space.

    Posted by: will | Apr 15, 2014 2:09:36 PM

  16. Will, I think you take village people erotica and postage stamps a little too seriously.

    Posted by: JMC | Apr 15, 2014 2:09:57 PM

  17. "I think we're in a psycholgically healthier space."

    And apparently a sterile, humorless one as well. The stamps are a wonderful slice of gay history. Straight people really won't care about them, and, if they do, it's not our job to keep every straight person on earth happy and comfortable. Breathe, relax.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 15, 2014 4:08:58 PM

  18. I always thought that Tom of Finland's work was more satirical than it was erotic.

    Posted by: Bryan L | Apr 15, 2014 4:33:48 PM

  19. Modern gay men are healthier and less twisted but my god you are SO GODDAMN BORING.

    Camp: gone.
    Glamor: gone.
    Perversion: gone.
    Trash and sleaze: gone.
    Danger: gone.

    Someone save me from these lactose-intolerant office dweebs who think that 'I've never been drunk' is a boast.

    Posted by: Chaz | Apr 15, 2014 5:03:46 PM

  20. 'At 37, I'm not young anymore'

    And you never were.

    Posted by: Chaz | Apr 15, 2014 5:10:57 PM

  21. Well I don't know about you, but my mind's been a depraved hyper-sexual toilet since I was 13.

    Posted by: Steerpike | Apr 15, 2014 5:25:00 PM

  22. WILL has the common sense opinion here but to equate it to "boring" says far more about the speaker than the concept. Gay "life" has always been far too preoccupied with promiscuous (and as it so horribly keeps showing us) unsafe sex. Far too many gay men have truly lived like animals in their sex life and half or more of the former generation of them are dead because of it. There is no counter argument whatsoever

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 15, 2014 5:59:57 PM

  23. Guess what: HIV infection rates aren't down. They're climbing again. People just aren't dying in the same numbers. There hasn't been the slightest change in what people actually do or what they want or how they behave: just better treatment and a bunch of sanctimonious crap about those 'animals' in the past. It's not good or bad: it just IS. The gays in the past were JUST like the gays now: we just have better pills and are WAY smugger and more self-deluding, internalizing the old homophobic messages about filthy promiscuous gay men and pretending that it's all different now that we're normalized: like AIDS is all in the past and it's monogamy and cats and dinner parties from now on..

    Posted by: Steerpike | Apr 15, 2014 6:20:07 PM

  24. @UFFDA: You don't get STDs from appreciating or even licking stamps, or from drawings of--gasp!--naked, sexualized men.

    There does seem to be some contagious prudeitis going around on this thread, however,

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 15, 2014 7:20:11 PM

  25. Uffda (aka Rick) hates gay sex and all those who engage in it. He's butthurt that there are visibly empowered gay men because he's a closet case who hates himself.

    Posted by: Tyler | Apr 15, 2014 8:56:16 PM

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