Touko Valio Laaksonen was born May 8 1920, and tomorrow will be his birthday. He was best known by his pseudonym Tom of Finland, a Finnish artist notable for his stylized homoerotic fetish art and his influence on late twentieth century gay culture. He has been called the "most influential creator of gay pornographic images" by cultural historian Joseph W. Slade. Over the course of four decades, he produced some 3500 illustrations, mostly featuring men with exaggerated primary and secondary sex traits with tight or partially removed clothing.
He wasn’t afraid to overcome the prejudice and bigotry against his sexuality back then and instead replaced the fear with art. And God did he let it flow so beautifully with his Marlon Brando lookalike bikers. Touko was born on May 8th, 1920 in Kaarina, Finland, which is very close to Turku. His parents ran a school from their home so he was well-educated, one could say. I remember this funny story I read that one time his fifteen year old sister found one of his erotic drawings and ran away because she got aroused. And she would have every right. I'll be the first to admit when I was a wee gayling, the images had a profound effect. Not only did his drawings have incredible talent and technique to them, but they also were one factor to really wake up my libido, and give me many sexual fantasy's, but finally got me to search out my first encounter. I would later be attracted to older men, and desiring some of these scenes, but that's another story!
He matured into an artist who created more than one masterwork, yet never had any formal art training. Schooled at the piano, self-taught with a pencil. The consummate Homosexual. Happy Birthday Touko!