Harvey Milk to Be First Openly Gay Official on Stamp, And It Only Took...37 Years
Very soon, you'll be able to show your LGBT awareness on your mail: Civil rights icon Harvey Milk is going to be the first openly gay official to be featured on a U.S. postage stamp, and you'll be able to paste his face onto your letters as soon as May 22, in honor of Harvey Milk Day.
Milk, who became the first openly gay person elected to public office in California back in 1977, will be joining the likes of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks, who also have their faces featured on postage stamps. The civil rights hero served for almost a year on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, before he and Mayor George Moscone were murdered on on Nov. 27, 1978. In spite of his limited time in office, Milk became iconic in the fight for gay rights, playing a major role in the defeat of the Briggs Initiative, which would have banned gay people (and those who support them) from becoming school-teachers.
Although Milk will be the first out gay official on a U.S. postage stamp, he's actually far from being the first LGBT figure to have his face on a tiny, sticky piece of paper. The USPS has featured the likes of Andy Warhol, Walt Whitman, Frida Kahlo and Cole Porter — all of whom were famously part of the LGBT community.
In fact, another seemingly innocuous choice for a 2015 stamp has actually caused a lot more stir in the stamp world (no, seriously, it has): the Beatles' John Lennon. Until now, U.S. stamps have only ever featured famous Americans, and the inclusion of a Brit has apparently been quite controversial. Other stamps set to come out next year are Steve Jobs, James Brown, and Jimi Hendrix.
Lest we forget what a big deal stamps can be (as well we might, considering that, who even mails things regularly anymore?), stamps can actually be pretty valuable. One of the earliest postage stamps, which was issued way back in 1853, is worth a cool $40,000.