Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders On Stamps

June Thomas reports on the Slate website that the Harvey Milk Foundation and the U.S. Postal Service have confirmed that San Francisco politician Harvey Milk ,who was openly gay, will be featured on a new postage stamp next year.

Thomas says, "Most reports observe that Milk will be the 'first openly LGBT official ever featured on a U.S. stamp.” As is so often the case, openly is the key word in that statement.'"

She points out in her article, "The USPS has put several lesbian, gay, or bisexual people on stamps over the years—including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Samuel Barber, Elizabeth Bishop, Isadora Duncan, Langston Hughes, Frida Kahlo, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Cole Porter, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, Rosetta Tharpe, Andy Warhol, Walt Whitman, and Tennessee Williams—and there are surely many others who qualify but whose inclusion might be disputed."

She also mentions Medal of Honor recipient Mary Edwards Walker who was given a stamp in 1982 in recognition of her service as a Civil War surgeon.

 Thomas questions Walker's sexuality by saying, "Walker was wed shortly after she graduated from medical school in 1855, but the marriage was short-lived, and for much of her life Walker, who preferred to dress in men’s clothing—and was arrested several times for doing so—dedicated herself to the causes of women’s suffrage and “dress reform.”

Shown above, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker photographed in 1911, along with the stamp that commemorates her Civil War service

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:00 AM