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“Milk’s achievements gave hope and confidence to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in the United States and elsewhere at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility and discrimination. Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, ensuring equality and providing needed services.”
— From a statement by the U.S. Postal Service, which has officially revealed the design for its Harvey Milk Forever Stamp. A photo of Milk in front of his Castro Street Camera store in 1977 is the basis for the design, a simple black and white close-up of one of America’s first openly gay elected officials.
Harvey Milk became a national LGBT hero when, in 1977, he was elected to a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Milk’s belief that the U.S. government should represent all areas of American society inspired a generation of LGBT individuals at a time when discrimination and homophobia was rife. Milk was instrumental in swaying public opinion against Proposition 6, which would have made firing gay teachers mandatory in the state of California.
Milk’s political career ended in 1978 when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were killed by Dan White. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and became a martyr for the LGBT community in America.
The official first-day-of-issue ceremony for Harvey Milk’s stamp will take place at the White House on May 22, while a public dedication ceremony will take place May 28 in San Francisco. The Harvey Milk Forever Stamp is available to order now at usps.com/shop.