Civil rights hero Harvey Milk, who in 1977 became the first openly gay person elected to public office in California, will soon have another first to his name. On May 22, in honor of Harvey Milk Day, the slain San Francisco supervisor and gay rights activist is set to become the first openly gay elected official featured on a U.S. postage stamp.
The design, unveiled Monday by Linns Stamp News, includes a black-and-white photograph of Milk, along with the pride rainbow flag colors stacked squarely in the upper left corner. U.S. Postal Service officials announced plans to feature the gay rights icon last October, but it was not known until this week what the stamp would look like. The stamp will make its debut in either San Francisco or Washington, D.C.
Milk served almost 11 months on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors before he was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone on Nov. 27, 1978. In the short time he was in office, Milk played an instrumental role in passing a gay rights ordinance considered at the time to be the toughest in the nation. Dan White, a fellow supervisor, was charged with murder, but convicted of voluntary manslaughter instead.
Activists who launched a campaign back in 2011 to have Harvey Milk’s image on a United States Postal Service stamp got their wish after the USPS unveiled the stamp. The “Forever” stamp is set to be released on Harvey Milk Day—May 22. The stamp honors the San Francisco politician who is largely credited as the first openly gay person to be elected to public office.