Harvey Milk becomes first openly gay official to appear on US stamp


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The Independent Online

Harvey Milk made posthumous history once again this week, by becoming the first openly gay elected official to be featured on a US stamp (scroll down to see it in full).

The American Postal Service unveiled the black-and-white image, based on a photograph taken of the politician at his Castro Street Camera store in San Francisco in the Seventies, on Monday.

The original image was shot by photographer Daniel Nicoletta of Grants Pass. Antonio Alcala was the art director for the stamp.

Milk was assassinated in 1978, shortly after he became one of the first openly gay officials to be elected in the United States when he won a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

During his 11 months in office, Milk passed a landmark gay rights ordinance for the city, despite the widespread hostility and discrimination the LGBT community faced at the time.


His first posthumous honour was awarded to Milk by President Barack Obama in 2009 in the form of the Medal of Freedom.

Milk was also the subject of an award-winning biopic called Milk, which starred Sean Penn and was written by Tom Daley’s screenwriter boyfriend Dustin Lance Black.

The official ceremony for the stamp’s first-day-of-issue will take place at the White House on 22 May – also known as Harvey Milk Day in California.

A public dedication ceremony will also take place in San Francisco on 28 May.