The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) unveiled a set of six commemorative stamps on 5th February 2016 to promote UN Free and Equal – a global UN campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality launched and led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (ONCHR).
The new stamps, which celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community, mark the first time the United Nations has issued stamps with this theme. The set, which features two in English, two in French, and two in German, will be available as of tomorrow at UN Headquarters in New York, Geneva and Vienna. They can also be purchased online.
In an interview, the artist who designed them said he was very influenced by art from the first quarter of the 20th Century. Sergio Baradat, who is of Cuban background, explained that his style stems from his appreciation for French Art Deco and growing up in Miami.
“One of the stamps represents someone who is transgender,” Mr. Baradat told UN Radio, referring to the stamp that depicts a person with butterfly wings, an image he says represents a person “becoming who they really are, blossoming,” he said.
“We live in a world where even though [developed] nations have embraced marriage equality [and] LBGT equality, we still have a far, far, far way to go, but we are making some strides,” he added.
“There are some countries in the world right now where not only are we not celebrated or respected, but we are beaten and killed. And I thought that it would be a wonderful opportunity using art, to use postage stamps as a vehicle – using art to change hearts and minds.”
He also stressed that LGBT rights are human rights and that all individuals deserve to be treated equally and fairly under the law. The series is co-sponsored by the permanent missions of Argentina, Australia, Chile, El Salvador, Germany, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay, the delegation of the European Union, in addition to OHCHR and UNPA.