Opinion

Celebrating Marriage Equality in the US with Tom of Finland

Tom of Finland, "Untitled" (1976), graphite on paper (Collection Ulrich Tangermann, courtesy Artists Space)
Tom of Finland, “Untitled” (1976), graphite on paper (Collection Ulrich Tangermann, courtesy Artists Space)

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage — henceforth known simply as “marriage” — is protected by the Constitution. It is a glorious day, and I was having trouble summing up just how incredible it felt until I saw this Tom of Finland image. YUP. Let queerness rule the world.

The image is part of the current Tom of Finland exhibition at Artists Space in New York, the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s mischievously masculine and homoerotic work to date. And it turns out there’s also a movie being made about Tom, who worked as an adman by day and whose real name was Touko Laaksonen. Here’s a trailer for what looks like it will be a highly cheeky, titillating film (with much winking and little fourth wall):

The movie’s website says it’s coming in 2015; the production company’s website says 2016 — either way I can’t wait. The following year Helsinki may even get a Tom of Finland statue in front of its new central library, if some city councilors have their way (also the year that Finland’s same-sex marriage bill will go into effect). And don’t forget that Tom’s work already graces a set of Finnish postal stamps.

Today in the US, we have marriage equality; tomorrow, let us start officially honoring our homoerotic heroes! (And Sunday, let us march for Pride in New York!)

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