FOR all those gay men who have longed to lick the back of one of the Tom of Finland monochrome man mountains, they now have the chance with the Finnish post office releasing a set of commemorative stamps.

More than 3500 Tom of Finland pictures were created by artist Touko Laaksonen, featuring hyper-realistic renditions of the male form often clad in uniforms of leather or denim or, simply, naked and alert.

Laaksonen’s beefcake look was especially popular in the 1970s, finding itself imitated in artists such as Freddie Mercury and The Village People.

Laaksonen’s work displayed a “confident and proud homoeroticism,” Finnish postal provider Itella Posti said in a statement.

“His emphatically masculine homoerotic drawings have attained iconic status in their genre and had an influence on pop culture and fashion,” the company added.

“In his works, Tom of Finland utilised the self-irony and humour typical of subcultures.”

The stamps are being issued to coincide with an exhibition of Laaksonen’s correspondence in the country’s capital of Helsinki this September.

While Itella Posti has steered away from the most graphic images, erect nipples, pert bottoms and even a head in a crotch are displayed prominently.

The Tom of Finland collection will stand alongside more traditional Finnish stamp themes due to be released, including a reindeer in the snow and rustic gardens in autumn.

Meanwhile, the US Postal Service has also announced it will release a stamp featuring murdered civil rights leader Harvey Milk.

Harvey Milk stamp

Milk became the first openly-gay person to be elected to public office in California when he took his place on the San Francisco board of supervisors in 1977.

Hailed as a hero, he was shot and killed 11 months after his election by disgruntled former board colleague Dan White.

The stamp will be issued on May 22, California’s Harvey Milk Day.




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