“President Obama and his administration have provided the nation with steadfast and trendsetting leadership in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the U.S. and abroad,” stated Stuart Milk, the gay nephew of Milk who co-founded the Harvey Milk Foundation. “May 22, Harvey Milk Day, is celebrated annually on my uncle’s birthday as an official California State holiday and is recognized in communities around the world as a day for all minority groups to collaborate on the vigilance needed to achieve fully inclusive human rights for everyone, everywhere.”
The U.S. Postal Service has honored numerous gay, lesbian, or bisexual people on stamps over the years. Some of them were very open and out in their sexuality. Many more were private, secretive, closeted about their affections. Many were married and had same sex trysts or long-term lovers on the side. Also, up until the mid 20th-century, homosexuality as total identity predicated on same-sex attraction was only invented as a possibility with the rise of psychoanalysis and the medical and legal establishments’ increasing interest in “perversion.” Prior to then the term and all its modern connotations did not exist yet.
Politicians and public servants:
More on Tricky Dick's gay affair.]
Performers and artists:
Samuel Barber, classical composer of orchestral, opera, choral, and piano music.
Leonard Bernstein, composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. Composed "Fancy Free," "Candide," "On the Town," "West Side Story," and "Mass."
James Dean, Hollywood actor. Celebrated for his roles in the films "Rebel Without a Cause," "East of Eden," and "Giant."
Lorenz Hart, lyricist half of the Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. Some of his more famous lyrics include "Blue Moon," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Manhattan," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "My Funny Valentine," "This Can't Be Love," and "Isn't It Romantic?".
Cole Porter, composer and songwriter. His numerous hit songs include "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Well, Did You Evah!", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "You're the Top".
Rudolph Valentino, silent screen actor and a sex symbol of the 1920s. Valentino's sexuality was the subject of speculation. Rumors of his homosexuality were rife among Hollywood gay circles, despite (or because of) his marriages to and divorces from two wives, both lesbian.
Andy Warhol, was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. He is also notable as a gay man who lived openly as such before the gay liberation movement.
Charles Demuth, painter known for developing a style of painting called Precisionism. He was one of America's first modernist painters and was one of the earliest artists in this country to expose his gay identity through forthright, positive depictions of homosexual desire.
Robert Indiana, best known as the creator of the LOVE series of paintings and sculptures, is an openly gay American artist who has incorporated autobiographical and gay themes within his work.
Marsden Hartley was among a handful of gay and lesbian artists who came to define the delicate balance between the poetic and the erotic in the early days of the American avant-garde.
Maurice Sendak, illustrator and writer of children's books. His best known book “Where the Wild Things Are.” Sendak was in a loving and committed relationship of fifty years that ended only with his partner's death. He came out to the press a year later.
Grant Wood, painter. Wood’s homosexuality was something of an open secret in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where an attitude of “don’t ask – don’t tell’’ allowed a small gay and lesbian subculture to exist in peace, so long as it remained practically invisible.
T.S. Eliot, one of the twentieth century's major poets.
Others versatile men:
George Washington Carver, noted botanist who introduced crop rotation to southern U.S. agriculture. He was particularly known for developing hundreds of uses for the peanut. He enjoyed giving “therapeutic” peanut oil massages to and engaging in horseplay with handsome young men.
AIDS awareness, released in 1993 in recognition of World AIDS Day. The ribbon was created by artists who formed the Visual AIDS Artists Caucus in NYC. They wished to create a visual symbol to demonstrate compassion for people living with AIDS and their caregivers. Inspired by the yellow ribbons honoring American soldiers serving in the Gulf war, the color red was chosen for its, "connection to blood and the idea of passion -- not only anger, but love, like a valentine." First worn publicly by Jeremy Irons at the 1991 Tony Awards, the ribbon soon became renowned as an international symbol of AIDS awareness.
Love, 1984 stamp has a colorful heart on for love.
Love, 1985 stamp features a stylized rainbow of colorful strokes.
Lets not forget some of the famous lesbians on US postage stamps. A few of the best known ones are: Jane Adams, Josephine Baker, Elizabeth Bishop, Willa Cather, Isadora Duncan, Lynn Fontanne, Greta Garbo, Billie Holiday, Barbara Jordan, Frida Kahlo, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Georgia O’Keefe, Alice Paul, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bessie Smith, Rosetta Tharpe, and Dr. Mary Edwards Walker.
The source for many of these stamps comes from the Gay and Lesbian History on Stamps Club http://www.glhsc.org. Bio data from Wikipedia and GLBTQ Encyclopedia.