The U.S. Postal Service is set to release a commemorative Harvey Milk postage stamp later this month, but that’s small potatoes compared to what the Finnish postal service has planned. This fall, Finland will release several homoerotic postage stamps drawn by Tom of Finland, an icon in the gay art scene and pioneer of gay bondage art. The designs aren’t quite explicit, but they’re worlds more graphic than anything that’s ever appeared on a U.S. postage stamp.
Tom of Finland — birth name Touko Laaksonen — is one of the most famous Finnish artists, and made a name for himself with his bold, unapologetic depictions of masculinity and homoeroticism. He produced over 3,500 images over four decades, and the Finish Postal Museum is showing an exhibit of his work to coincide with the release of the stamps in September.
“In his works, Tom of Finland utilized the self-irony and humor typical of subcultures,” Itella Posti, the Finish postal service, said in a blog post. “The drawings on the stamp sheet represent strong and confident male figures typical of their designer.”
The stamps are divided among three images. One depicts a naked man sandwiched between the legs of another man dressed as a police officer; the other centers on a naked butt, with a man’s face peering at the viewer from between the legs.
Oddly enough, same-sex marriage is not legal in Finland.
Image: Tom of Finland/Finland Postal Museum