The online archive of global LGBTQ history, current events, and personal stories

Tom of Finland

Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland.Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland (left) and Durk Dehner.“Untitled, 1987” by Tom of Finland.Laaksonen’s drawings provided post-war gay men with images of a positive, stylized masculinity.Tom of Finland has been called the “most influential creator of gay pornographic images” by cultural historian Joseph W. Slade.Laaksonen produced more than 3,500 drawings over four decades.On September 8, 2014, the Finnish postal office honored Tom of Finland with a set of postage stamps.The Finnish postage stamps feature the confident, highly sexualized male images Tom of Finland was known for.1421 La Veta Terrace, Los Angeles, California, the “Tom of Finland house,” where Laaksonen lived when not at his home in Finland. In 2016 the Los Angeles City Council approved its nomination as an Historical-Cultural Landmark.The Tom of Finland stamp set was released in 2014 and rapidly became the best-selling samp set in the Finnish post office’s history.Touko Valio Laaksonen--”Tom of Finland” (May 8 1920 – November 7 1991).Touko Laaksonen, aka Tom of Finland, plays the piano. His partner Veli Makinen and his sister Kaija are seen in the background. Late 1950s.
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