‘Confident and Proud Homoeroticism’: New Postage Stamps Are Anything but Traditional

Finland’s postal service will release homoerotic-themed stamps this fall that are sure to create some debate.

Image source: Itella Posti
Image source: Itella Posti

In honor of the late Touko Laaksonen (also known as Tom of Finland), a Finnish artist who often captured gay relationships through his sketches, Itella Posti, the government-owned postal company, created stamps showcasing two of his works.

While none of his oft-times explicit images were selected, one stamp does feature a man’s bare buttocks, the Washington Post reported.

“[Laaksonen’s] emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on, for instance, pop culture and fashion,” read a release from Itella Posti.

It continued, “In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures.”

Itella Posti announced the stamps under a sub header that read, “Confident and proud homoeroticism.”

The controversial decision was apparently contemplated before it was made, with the postal service eventually deciding that offering up the gay-themed stamps wasn’t really a big deal.

“Of course, the choice was discussed, but we wanted to live in the year 2014,” Itella Posti development director Markku Penttinen said in an interview with Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat, according to the Post.

Slate blogger Mark Joseph Stern wrote that the choice to include such controversial subject matter is noteworthy, considering that gay marriage isn’t legal in Finland.

(H/T: Washington Post)

Featured image via Itella Posti