The controversial Tom of Finland stamps
Packages plastered with the cheeky new Tom of Finland stamps have been posted to Russia to see if they’ll actually get delivered.
The packages were sent by Yle, the Finnish broadcasting company, on Tuesday to gauge if the saucy stamps will fall foul of Russia’s gay propaganda law.
In June last year, Russia’s President Putin signed the federal law banning gay “propaganda,” which has been used to restrict media freedom and music concerts, to ban gay Pride events and protests and has led to an increase in discrimination against LGBT people.
According to Yle, two parcels and two letters were sent to addresses in Moscow and St Petersburg and were paid for with the homoerotic stamps, one of which features a naked man’s behind.
The broadcaster said that, “We wanted to test how the Russian postal service and customs would respond to the stamps.”
The three stamps, which celebrate the iconic gay fetish artist Tom of Finland, were issued by the Finish postal service Itella Posti and went on sale on Monday.
As the Russian postal service has a reputation for being slow and unreliable, it’s unclear if and when the packages and letters will reach their delivery addresses.
In the meantime, the Finish Halpa-Halli department chain has refused to sell the stamps in its 38 stores, because, it says, they do not represent its Christian values
The company also explained through a spokesperson that it did not want to offend its customers.
“This is not a political move, but one related to our product strategy, in which we are respecting our customers’ peace of mind. We don’t want to unnecessarily provoke people in areas where we have stores,” he said.
On Monday, Itella Posti announced that the stamps are already a huge hit and had been pre-ordered by collectors from 178 countries.