The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) is the only postal authority that issues stamps in three different currencies: US dollars, Swiss francs, and euros. The stamps are only valid for mail sent from the UN offices in New York, Geneva or Vienna, but they’re also used as a way to highlight campaigns the United Nations is involved in, and this month the UNPA unveiled a set of six commemorative stamps to promote UN Free & Equal — a global UN campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.
It’s the first time the UN has issued stamps with the LGBT theme, and they were designed by Sergio Baradat in line with his appreciation for French Art Deco and growing up in Miami.
This one (below) depicts a person with butterfly wings to represent someone who is transgender and who is, according to Sergio, “becoming who they really are, blossoming.”
“We live in a world where even though [developed] nations have embraced marriage equality [and] LGBT equality, we still have a long, long, long way to go, but we are making some strides.
“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.”
— Sergio Baradat
“Violence and discrimination affect millions of LGBT and intersex people around the world. The United Nations must always speak out in the face of these abuses.”
— Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations
Stamp sets are available from UNPA.
The Free & Equal campaign was launched by the United Nations in July 2013, and has become one of the UN’s most popular campaigns ever.