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UN Free & Equal is a global campaign for LGBT equality – taking the form of a series of six commemorative stamps issued by the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA).
The very first campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality which uses stamps is led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and is released in time for LGBT History Month UK.
The tri-lingual stamp set includes two each in English, German and French and will go on general sale today at the UN headquarters in Geneva, New York and Vienna, as well as online.
‘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,’ said Cuban artist Sergio Baradat, who designed the stamps.
Baradat says he was inspired by the French Art Deco movement and his childhood in Miami.
‘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.’
The stamps are 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; and OHCHR and UNPA.
Primarily designed for collecting, the stamps can actually only be used in certain locations: the UN headquarters in New York; the Palais des Nations, Geneva; and the Vienna International Centre, Austria. But you don’t need to be a stamp collector to buy these!