American LGBT people may be excited about the upcoming Harvey Milk stamp, but Finnish stamp authorities have just approved a new Tom of Finland set of stamps featuring the iconic gay artist Touko Laaksonen's homoerotic drawings. Laaksonen adopted the pseudonym Tom of Finland because he thought his real name would be too difficult for Americans to pronounce.
Laaksonen always called his erotic sketches his "dirty pictures." While many of his drawings were incredibly explicit, the stamps will not include any hardcore images.
The procedure for approving the stamp wasn't without it's fair share of drama. Since many of Laaksonen's drawings were sexual, the idea of honoring an artist best known for sexualized images of leather daddies, muscle men, and hardons was a little contentious.
"Of course, the choice was discussed," Development Director Itella Posti Markku Penttinen told the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. "But we wanted to live in the year 2014."
Laaksonen, one of the world's best known artists from Finland, died in 1991. His drawings have been a staple in the gay community with merchandise featuring his figures continuing to sell at a brisk pace.
Penttinen pointed out to the newspaper that the artist's work is currently on permanent display at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Los Angeles County Museum, and both the New York and San Francisco modern art museums.
The stamps will come out in September.