Petition launched against Finnish homoerotic stamps

A petition has been launched in Finland to ban a collection of stamps featuring homoerotic art.

Finnish postal service Itella announced that the stamps would be introduced to honour the late artist Touko Laaksonen, who was better known as Tom of Finland and has been referred to as the “most influential creator of gay pornographic images”.

Itella published a statement saying Laaksonen’s “emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings” gained iconic status and influenced things such as culture, fashion and pop. It noted that the drawings on the new stamps represent strong, confident males like their designer.

However, not everyone is happy with the stamps, with a petition demanding it is cancelled already gathering more than 2,000 signatures. The petition demands that Itella scraps plans to publish the homoerotic stamp as they don’t want the country to be represented by homoerotic themes.

It goes on to state that the sexual orientation of those in the images on the stamps leaves little to be interpreted and that stamps in the Nordic country have traditionally shown “culturally valuable and aesthetically beautiful” themes, noting that strong homoerotic themes are neither. It then advises Itella to be more careful about selecting themes that will make Finns proud in the future.

Dome Karukoski, the renowned Finnish film director, revealed last year that he planned to direct an authorised biopic on Laaksonen. The Tom of Finland Foundation had never before given its approval for a movie to be made about artist.