Today’s lesson is that apparently Finland is a very different country than the United States. It sounds like a prank, but multiple news outlets are reporting that Finland is issuing a stamp to honor erotic artist Tom of Finland. The artwork in question features full male rear nudity and some obscured frontal nudity. Okay!
It was only just this month that the U.S. finally got a Harvey Milk stamp, so we’re probably still quite a few years from a stamp that’s just opening homoerotic.
And it gets crazier: apparently the Finland’s postal museum will have a full exhibit of Tom of Finland art in September, when the stamps are released. Again, just try to imagine anything like this happening in the United States. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at that art opening.
So far we haven’t seen any outrage from the conservative right, although that’s eventually inevitable. For our part, we’re a little offended that the art features a character with a cigarette, when LGBTs have an elevated risk of smoking and dying of unpleasant tobacco-related diseases. But hey, it’s a product of its time.
“Of course, the choice was discussed, but we wanted to live in the year 2014,” said Itella development director Markku Penttinen. According to Washington Post, there will be 33 different designs in all. So get collecting, philatelists.
Also, delightfully, the postal service is also issuing stamps that commemorate beloved cartoonist and children’s author Tove Jansson, which is pretty much the polar opposite of Tom of Finland. Something for everyone!