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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Organizations campaign for stamps honoring LGBTQ icons
2021-03-02

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The International Imperial Court System (IICS) of the United States, Canada, and Mexico and the National LGBTQ Task Force have launched a national campaign asking the U.S. Post Office Department to issue stamps honoring LGBTQ icons and trailblazers Bayard Rustin, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera and Jose Julio Sarria.

The IICS and The Task Force were also the sponsors of the campaign that resulted in the issuance of the Harvey Bernard Milk U.S. postage stamp, unveiled in May 2014; and the campaign to the secretary of the Navy that resulted in the naming of the U.S.N.S. Harvey Milk.

Walter Naegle , who was Rustin's longtime partner, is serving as honorary chair of this current campaign. Rustin was a U.S. leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence and gay rights. He is best-known as an advisor to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rustin died in 1987 and is a posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. A documentary film of his life is currently being produced by former President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and is written by Oscar winner and screenwriter Dustin Lance Black.

Johnson and Rivera are iconic trans activists who were part of the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, becoming leaders in the Gay Liberation Movement. Together, they helped found the group STARR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), which offered housing to homeless and transgender youth.

Sarria was a Latino World War II veteran who, while living in San Francisco in 1961, became the first openly LGBTQ candidate to run for public office. He was best-known as the founder of the IICS, which now has 70 city chapters in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Sarria was also a founder of two of the earliest homophile civil-rights organizations in the United States: the League for Civil Education, in 1961; and the Society for Individual Rights, in 1963.


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