[October is LGBT History Month and to celebrate, Queerty’s gaying up each day with our 31 Days of Queerstory.]
If you need yet another reminder that Harvey Milk’s legacy endures, the United States Postal Service announced yesterday that it will issue a postage stamp with the image of the late LGBT civil rights leader. It will be the first time in USPS history that an openly LGBT official will be commemorated on a stamp..
Milk was the first openly gay man to hold public office in California. He moved from New York City to San Francisco in 1972 amid a migration of gay men to the city’s popular Castro District. After running unsuccessfully for political office three times, he finally won a seat as a city supervisor in 1977.
Milk served almost 11 months in office and was responsible for passing a gay rights ordinance for the city. On November 27, 1978, he and Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed by Dan White, an angry city supervisor who had recently resigned but wanted his job back.
Milk’s assassination rocked both the city of San Francisco and the nation, and he quickly became an icon in the LGBT rights movement. Time magazine named him one of “100 Heroes and Icons of the 20th Century.” The Advocate listed him as third in its “40 Heroes” of the 20th century issue. And in 2009, he was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.
Now he is being honored with an official USPS stamp.
In a statement, Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, who is also the president and founder of the Milk Foundation said: “On behalf of the Milk family and the Harvey Milk Foundation, we are thrilled that our campaign for the stamp has succeeded and we thank all our partners including the USPS in this effort. Harvey’s story, example and courage continues to inspire across the globe and the issuance of the first U.S. postage stamp for a openly LGBT in my uncle’s name will not only educate but will provide hope, hope that is still critically needed today.”
The stamp is set to be released sometime next year.