Although it’s been a while since LGBT rights advocacy made it into mainstream culture, it took a little longer until awareness about these rights made it into stamps. But once the precedent was set, it seems that there’s an infinite number of stamps in recent years. Basically, we are talking about the period between 2010 and 2017 – but more, more LGBT-themed stamps are sure to come, making this topic a new topical interest for collectors worldwide! Below you can find in chronological order the stamps of this history-in-the-making.
The first LGBT-themed stamp I know of was issued in 2010 by the Austrian Post.
It was issued to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Rainbow Parade in Vienna.
Uruguay, one of the most socially liberal states of South America, issued in 2013 a stamp that makes a straightforward (pun intended) allusion to LGBT rights.
Pictured above, the 2013 sheet issued by Uruguay Post. The stamp was issued in a very limited number of copies (approximately 6,000) in numbered sheets of 8. It alludes to Eugène Delacroix‘s painting “Liberty Leading the People” (French: La Liberté guidant le peuple), replacing the French flag with a rainbow one. Really impressive!
Scorned by some as being the exact opposite when it comes to social rights, Cuba made great strides when it ‘officialized’ the awareness of the fight against discrimination on a series of 4 stamps, issued in 2013.
Pictured above, the 4 Cuban stamps. Left to right: fighting against racial discrimination; fighting against child molesting; fighting against homophobia; and fighting against discrimination based on disabilities. Way to go, Cuba!
Argentina was the tenth country in the world to recognize and perform same-sex marriages since 2010. A stamp celebrating the equal marriage rights law was issued in 2014, in the Decada Ganada series. I wrote a separate article about this wonderful series of stamps and its criticism.
Pictured above, the stamp issued in 2014 celebrating the Law 26.618 regarding marriage equality.
The United States of America
US Post needed some time to warm up to the idea of LGBT rights on stamps, but it did great. In 2014, a single stamp was issued to commemorate the life of LGBT activist Harvey Milk. I include it in the article due to the timid rainbow flag that was added, not without criticism, in the top left corner of the stamp.
Pictured above, the 2015 stamps issued by Greenland in honor of LGBT couples.
Sweden chose a very ‘traditional’ design for their first LGBT rights stamp, issued in 2016. The self-adhesive stamp is really a looker!
However, it was less traditional when it came to the use of the stamp. The stamp, which has a local postage value can also be used for international letters to Russia. Needless to say, activists took the hint and addressed rainbow-stamped letters to officials and human watch campaigns based in the Russian Federation.
Pictured above, the First Day Sheet that accompanies the Swedish stamp.
A great series of stamps was issued also in 2016 by the Netherlands on the occasion of the Amsterdam Europride.
Pictured above, the cover of the booklet.
Pictured above, the stamps from the Dutch stamp booklet.
The United Nations
In 2016, the United Nations issued 3 sets of 2 LGBT-themed stamps each in their offices in New York, Vienna, and Geneva. They are my favorite from this collection, due to their very elegant design. Their designer, Sergio Baradat, who is of Cuban background, explained that his style stems from his appreciation for French Art Deco and growing up in Miami.
Pictured above, the sets issued in the offices of New York, Vienna, and Geneva of the United Nations.
Pictured above, the LGBT-themed stamps issued by Denmark in 2017.
Canada issued a single LGBT-themed stamp in 2017, in a series of stamps celebrating the achievements of 150 years of Canada.
Pictured above, the cover of the booklet of stamps devoted to marriage equality.
Pictured above, the interior of the booklet, featuring 8 self-adhesive stamps.
Stamps featured in post: 24; Period: contemporary (2010-2017); Pricing: low and moderate; Availability: generally available, with the exception of stamp from Uruguay, both as single and as sheet.