Welcome to the Gay and Lesbian History on Stamps (GLHS) website! After a five-year lapse, the GLHS was reactivated in 2018. We hope to be a resource for those who collect LGBTQ on stamps or who are LGBTQ and collect stamps. In addition, we gather for meetings and socializing at the Great American Stamp Show during the summer, various other philatelic events around the country and virtually on the internet; we look forward to seeing you!
The objectives of Gay and Lesbian History on Stamps are to promote the interest in the collection, study and dissemination of knowledge of world-wide philatelic material that depicts:
- Notable men & women and their contributions to society for whom historical evidence exists of homosexual or bisexual orientation
- Mythology, historical events and ideas significant in the history of gay culture
- Flora and fauna scientifically proven as having prominent homosexual behavior.
Even though emphasis is placed on the above aspects of stamp collecting, GLHS strongly encourages other philatelic endeavors.
As you surf through our website, be sure and visit our Gallery featuring LGBTQ stamp issues, postmarks and covers. There's also an archive of our quarterly publication, the Gay and Lesbian History on Stamps Journal and a predecessor, the Lambda Philatelic Journal. Access to some features is limited without a membership in our society.
Want to join our Society and gain full access to all we have to offer? Select the membership link to apply.
Invitations to internet meetings will be sent by email to members several days before the event date. Members who do not receive the email or guests who want to attend may request an invitation by contacting the club at the first email address listed on the Contact Us page.
Meeting during the Greater American Stamp Show, August 10-13, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Huntington Convention Center. For more details on the event, co-sponsored by the American Philatelic Society, American First Day Cover Society and the American Topical Association, visit the APS Website.
X-men Issues Include LGBTQ Characters
Great Britain's Royal Mail will will release on on April 16, 2023, commemorative stamps featuring the X-Men. The LGBTQ characters featured on various stamps (some in alternate universes) are Beast, Colossus, Kate "Kitty" Pryde, Iceman, and Wolverine. Numerous other X-Men characters are LGBTQ. The issues, which include first class and second class stamp packs, as well as a prestige booklet (not illustrated, but with six additional designs), may be pre-ordered from the Royal Mail Shop.
Italian Singer Dalla Honored
The 80th birthday of Italian singer-songwriter, musician and actor Lucio Dalla (1943-2012) was celebrated on a souvenir sheet issued March 4, 2023 by Poste San Marino. Born in Bologna, Italy. Dalla began to play the clarinet at an early age and joined a jazz band in Bologna. Due to his exceptional voice, it was suggested he try a career as a singer. His recording debut took place in 1964, but his singles and albums did not sell in large numbers until 1977's album Com'è profondo il mare, for which he wrote the lyrics and was accompanied by members of future pop band Stadio. He also acted in 17 films and was musical director for 17 others. During his funeral, Dalla was outed as gay by long-term associate and partner Marco Alemanno, with whom Dalla shared a home. The souvenir sheet may be ordered from Poste San Marino.
Romeo and Juliet Filmmaker Gets Tribute
For the centenary of his birth, Poste Italiane issued a Franco Zeffirelli (1923-2019) stamp on February 12, 2023. A stage and film director, producer, production designer and politician, Zeffirelli was born near Florence, Italy, and graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti Firenze in 1941 and, following his father's advice, entered the University of Florence to study art and architecture. He fought as a partisan during World War II, then became an interpeter for a British battalion. After the war, Zeffirelli re-entered the University of Florence to continue his studies, but soon turned toward theatre, eventually becoming a major director of opera productions from the 1950s in Italy and elsewhere in Europe as well as the United States. His major breakthrough in film came in 1968 with the release of Romeo and Juliet, starring two teenagers in the lead roles. The film received a number of Oscar® nominations, including best picture and director. Zeffirelli came out as gay in 1996. The single is available from the Poste Italiane.
British War Hero Portrayed in Stamp Set
A set of five stamps issued February 21, 2023, by the Isle of Man post office commemorates the Battle of El Alamein, a key battle as part of the North African campaign of World War II. General Bernard Montgomery (1887-1976), who served in both world wars but is most famous for his actions during the North African Campaign, is portrayed on the 80p stamp. Montgomery was married for 10 years from 1927, but some academics described this an "an aberration" in what had otherwise been a life devoted entirely to being with men. Homosexuality in the Great Britain was outlawed from 1885 to 1967. The Isle of Man website has the stamp set for sale.
New Zealand Again Fetes Katherine Mansfield
The New Zealand Post released on February 1, 2023, a souvenir sheet honoring internationally acclaimed author Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923). She was born in Wellington and published her first short story in New Zealand Graphic and Ladies Journal magazine in 1900. She was an accomplished cellist and became disillusioned by the repression of the Maori people. She moved to London in 1903 and attended Queen’s College. She decided to write short stories professionally and was most prolific after 1916. After affairs with both women and men, Katherine moved in with Ida Baker, her “wife,” in 1917. She previously appeared as a honoree in a 1989 stamp issue. The souvenir sheet may be ordered from the NZPost website.
Spanish Feminist Pioneer Maeztu on Stamp
The 75th anniversary of the death of Spanish Educator and feminist María de Maeztu (1882-1948) was marked with a January 30, 2023 emission. The fourth of five children, she was born in the Basque province of Álava. After the death of her father, the family moved to Bilbao, where where Maetzu began treaching in a school for girls set up by her mother. An eloquent speaker and her knowledge of languages placed her in a position to represent Spain at international congresses and to experience Anglo-Saxon feminist associations. In 1915, she founded of the Residencia de Señoritas and the Lyceum Club in Madrid, where women could exchange ideas and defend their social and moral equality as well as material interests. Maeztu was active in the lesbian community during the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1937). After one of her brothers was executed by Republican soldiers near Madrid during the Civil War, she fled to Argentina to become a professor at the University of Buenos Aries. Except for a return to Spain for the funeral of her brother in 1947, she remained in Argentina until she died. The stamp is offered by Correos Espana.
Colette Stamp Issued by Monaco
A Monaco stamp issued on January 30, 2023, depicts Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954), known mononymously as Colette. A French author and woman of letters, She was also a mime, actress, and journalist. Born in a village in the in the department of Yonne, Burgundy, she attended public school from ages 6-17. She began writing during the first of three marriages. In more than 50 novels, she wrote about women and also feelings and sex and sexuality and fashion and food and the elusiveness of the concept of home. Colette is best known in the English-speaking world for her 1944 novella Gigi, which was the basis for the 1958 film and the 1973 stage production of the same name. Although married, Colette lived openly as a bisexual woman and had relationships with many prominent queer ladies, including American playwright and novelist Natalie Clifford Barney, self-proclaimed “queen of the Paris lesbians” and French noblewoman and artist Mathilde “Missy” de Morny.
Austrian Stamp Has Oppenheimer Painting
Prominent Viennese expressionist Max Oppenheimer's (1885-1954) portrait of legendary actress Tilla Durieux (1880-1971) is featured on a stamp issued January 19, 2023. Both were political activists. Oppenheimer studied painting in Vienna and Prague from 1900 to 1906. He became acquainted with "Viennese Expressionism" via a circle of artists that revolved around Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. In 1911, he settled in Berlin and started using the artist name MOPP. Being gay and of Jewish descent, in 1938 he fled via Switzerland to the United States where he lived until his death. He created numerous portraits – among others, he portrayed Schiele while Schiele also portrayed him – and graphic works. Another main motif in his work was music. The stamp is among the offerings of Austrian Post.
U.S. to Issue dePaola stamp
The U.S. Postal Service will be issuing on May 5, 2023, in Manchester, New Hampshaire, a single stamp honoring children's book illustrator and author Thomas Anthony "Tomie" dePaola (1934-2020). The first book dePaola illustrated was published in 1965, but the first that he wrote and illustrated was The Wonderful Dragon of Timlin, published the following year. His career spanned over 50 years during which he worked on more than 270 books; almost 25 million copies were sold worldwide, and translated into over 20 languages. Perhaps his most well-known work, Strega Nona, was first published in 1975 and was a finalist for the coveted Caldecott Medal for best illustrated work. He came out as gay later in his life, telling The New York Times Magazine in 2019 that, for much of his career, "If it became known you were gay, you’d have a big red ‘G’ on your chest... and schools wouldn’t buy your books anymore."
Avant-garde Filmaker Jonas Mekas Immortalized on Stamp
On December 16, 2022, Lithuanian Post released a stamp depicting Jonas Mekas (1922-1919), an American artist, poet, film critic and filmmaker. Born in Semeniškiai, Lithuania, he spent time in a Nazi labor camp and then a displaced persons camp before emigrating to the U.S. in 1949. Sometimes called "the godfather of American avant- garde cinema," he began recording the events of his life after buying a 16 mm film camera. He organized film festivals of the avant garde genre and created a total of 160 portraits of avant-garde cinema during his lifetime. Mekas communicated and worked together with such famous artists as Salvador Dali, Jurgis Mačiūnas, Andy Warhol, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Advocating early on works that aggressively challenged the techniques being engineered for the era’s narrative cinema, he was arrested on obscenity charges in 1964 for screening Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures and Jean Genet’s Un chant d’amour—two works that included explicitly homosexual material. The Lithuanian Post is currently offering the stamp.
Liberia Sheet Includes LGBTQ Nobel Honorees
Liberia issued on December 2, 2022, a souvenir sheet with six stamps to commemorate the 2022 Nobel Prize winners, one of whom says he is bisexual and the other being an out lesbian since the 1980s. Swedish geneticist Svante Pääboon (born 1955) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for his discoveries concerning the genomes of extinct hominins and human evolution". He assumed he was gay until he met his wife, an American primatologist and geneticist whose "boyish charms" attracted him. They have co-authored many papers, are married and raising a son and a daughter together. American chemist Carolyn Bertozzi (born 1966) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Her recent efforts include synthesis of chemical tools to study cell surface sugars called glycans and how they affect diseases such as cancer, inflammation, and viral infections like COVID-19. She has a wife and three sons.
Abraham Valdelomar Gets Tribute on Peruvian Issue
A stamp featuring Peruvian narrator, poet, journalist, essayist and dramatist Pedro Abraham Valdelomar Pinto (1888-1919) was to be released November 27, 2022. Born in San Andres Pisco, his childhood in this idyllic coastal setting and within an affectionate household are often the basis for his short stories and poems. Considered the founder of the avant-garde in Peru, he was known more for his dandy-like public poses and his founding of the short-lived journal Colónida than for his own writing, which is lyrically posmodernista rather than aggressively experimental. In 1913 during a brief diplomatic posting in Rome, Italy, Valdelomas he wrote his best-loved and prize-winning story, El Caballero Carmelo. While on a lecture tour, he fell and fractured a spine and suffered concussions, dying the next day at the age of 31. A number of biographies mention his homosexuality.
Centenary of Tutankhamun's Tomb Discovery
November 2022 marked the centenary of the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb by British archaeologist and Egyptoligist Howard Carter (1874-1939), with a British souvenir sheet (two stamps from the sheet that depicted Carter are shown here) and a set of eight stamps being issued to mark the occasion. Carter never married and has been the subject in recent years of discussion over his relationship with Lord George Herbert, Earl of Carnavon, who funded Carter's expeditions to Egypt. The Tutankhamun discovery was previously noted on a stamp issued by Great Britain in 1972. The new releases are available from Great Britain's Royal Mail (Click on image above to see all the items in a new window).
Rita Ora Appears on Kosovo Emission
British singer and songwriter Rita Sahatçiu Ora (born Rita Sahatçiu; 1990) appears on a stamp from her native Kosovo that was issued November 26, 2022. Her musical career caught fire in 2012 when she had several number one singles in the United Kingdom, as well as an album that debuted number one. Controversy arose in 2018 over her song Girls that was hailed by some as a bisexual anthem, but others found some lyrics as making light of gay relationships. In an apology to the LGBTQ community, she revealed that she has "had romantic relationships with women and men." However, all her public relationships seem to have been with men. The stamp is among the offerings from Kosovo Post.
Italy Honors Franco Battiato
For decades, one of the most popular singer-songwriters in Italy, Franco Battiato (1945-2021) was recognized on a stamp issued November 25, 2022. Born in Ionia, Sicily, in 1964 he moved first to Rome, and then to Milan at age 19, and soon after won his first musical contract. His music spanned genres such as experimental pop, electronic music, progressive rock, opera, symphonic music, movie soundtrack, oratorio and new wave. Also the maker of a half dozen films, he was additionally a painter using the the pseudonym Süphan Barzani. Around 1980, Battiato abandoned the progressive rock experiments of the previous years and moved to a more pop-oriented style which afforded him ever increasing popularity with Italian and worldwide audiences. An obituary from Global Chronicle described him as "a discreet homosexual." PosteItaliane is currently offering the stamp in its webstore.
Russia Issues Second Georgy Chicherin Stamp
Georgy Chicherin (1872-1936)received Russian philatelic honors for the second time with a stamp issued November 24, 2022, for his birth sesquicentennial. Born into an old noble family in Tambov, he became a Marxist revolutionary and later a Soviet politician who served as the first People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs in the Soviet government from March 1918 to July 1930. After the defeat of Russia in 1905, he spent the next 13 years in London, Paris, and Berlin. In Germany, he underwent medical treatment in attempts to cure his homosexuality. The other stamp featuring Chicherin was issued in 1972.
Germany Celebrates Diversity
A single German stamp issued on November 2, 2022, celebrates diversity. The stamp design includes not only a six-color rainbow, but also the most common sign for transgender. According to a 2016 survey, 7.4 percent of Germans identify as LGBT. In addition, 25 percent have a migration background. The issue can be ordered from the Deutsche Post webshop.
Aleš Votava's Work on Slovakian Emission
A Slovakian stamp issued October 21 2022 depicts a sketch of the masks, a model of the scene and designs for the costumes created for use in the stage production Orfeo ed Euridice, by Aleš Votava (1962-2001). Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), the actor and production designer was known for Toto leto doma (1980), Modré z nebe (1997) and Aria ou les rumeurs de la Villa Medicis (1996). At the time of his death, he was the partner of actor Richard Stanke. The stamp can be ordered from the Slovakian Postal Philatelic Service (POFIS).
Antonio Canova's Death Bicentenary Noted
The bicentenary of the death of Antonio Canova (1757-1822), one of the greatest neoclassical artists, was noted on a single stamp issued October 13, 2022. Senator Giovanni Falier hired Canova to create sculptures for his garden, which brought Canova fame, and the senator's son became Canova's intimate friend for life. Canova's birth was feted on three Italian stamps issued in 1957. The new stamp is available from PosteItaliane.
Grand Prix Stamp Features Yves Montand
An October 4, 2022, issue from Monaco shows a Polish film poster promoting Grand Prix, a 1966 film made in the principality with an all-star cast. The poster includes only the name of French/Italian actor and singer Yves Montand (1921-1991). Openly gay actor Jean-Claude Brialy (1933-2007) sent shockwaves throughout France when he revealed Montand had during his youth a gay affair with operetta singer Reda Caire, who was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Montand admitted in a 1980s interview with the now-defunct French weekly Gai Pied to having sex with boys "like all the boys from the Meditérannée." Monaco's Office des Timbres currently has the stamp on sale.
Ian McKellen on Another Lord of the Rings Stamp
New Zealand released on September 7, 2022, six stamps for the 20th anniversary of Lord of the Rings: Twin Towers, which was filmed there. One stamp features the gay English actor Ian McKellen, who played Gandarf. The stamp is available from NZ Post.
Finland Issues Latest Moomins Stamp
One of Tove Janssen's Moomin characters appears on an alphabet stamp issued by Finland on September 7, 2022. The beloved characters created by the lesbian author, novelist, painter and illustrator have appeared on Finnish stamps since 1992. Contact the Finnish Post to place an order for a booklet.
King Ludig's Castle Makes Another Appearance
The German Post issued on September 1, 2022, a stamp depicting Schloss Neuschwanstein, the fairytale castle and now popular tourist attraction built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The subject of the stamp, offered by German Post Shop, has previously appeared several times on German adhesives.
Irish Revolutionary Michael Collins Death Centenary
On August 17, 2022, an Irish stamp was released to commemorate the centennial of the death of Michael Collins (1890-1922), an Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician who was a leading figure in the early-20th century struggle for Irish independence. He was shot and killed in an ambush by anti-treaty forces on August 22, 1922. Though Collins was engaged at the time he was killed, there is speculation about his sexuality. Senator David Norris (the first openly gay person elected to public office in Ireland) wrote in his autobiography that an elderly man told him one night about being a boyfriend of Collins more than 50 years earlier. When the senator mentioned this to an eminent historian, the reply was that this was known in certain Republican circles. However, most pundits have rejected Norris' assertions.
Pasolini Birth Centenary Feted
On July 12, 2022, San Marino released a stamp for the birth centenary of Pier Paolo Pasolini. The stamp depicts a portrait of Pasolini taken from a work by Gianluigi Toccafondo. Born in Bologna, Pasolini (1922-75) distinguished himself as a poet, investigative journalist, columnist, film director, screenwriter, novelist and author of musical lyrics. He is best known for his erotic film series Trilogy of Life, released in the 1970s and based on material by Boccaccio, Chaucer, and tales from One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. His teaching career was ruined in 1949 when political enemies publicized his homosexuality, leading to his trial for seducing three teenage boys, expulsion from the Communist Party and loss of his teaching job. He was murdered in November 2017 by a 17 year old he had picked up in Ostia, who beat him with a nail-encrusted board and then ran over him with a sports car. The stamp is available from Poste San Marino.
Switzerland Marriage For All
On July 1, 2022, the Swiss post office issued a stamp to commemorate the effective date of a new law legalizing gay marriage. Legislation to open marriage to same-sex couples passed the Swiss Parliament in December 2020, but the law was challenged by opponents of same-sex marriage, resulting in a referendum on the issue. On September 26, 2021, "Marriage for All" was approved with the support of 64% of voters and a majority in all 26 cantons.
Christian Louboutin Featured in Exhibtion
The work and imagination of Christian Louboutin (born 1963), a footwear designer and key figure in the fashion industry, was the theme for L'Exhibtioniste Chapitre II, held during July and August in Monaco. Born in Paris, he dropped out of school in his early teens and began stretching shoes. Later, while still a teenager, he ran away to Egypt and spent some time in India. He returned to France, freelance designing shoes for several fashion houses. In the late 1980s, he turned to landscape gardening and contributed to Vogue but returned to working with shoes, setting up his own company and opening a Paris shoe salon in 1991, helping bring stilettos back into fashion in the 1990s and 2000s, with his having a trademarked red sole. Landscape architect Louis Benech has been Louboutin's partner since 1999. Monaco's Office des Timbres has the stamp available.
Poland Memorializes Miron Białoszewsk
June 30, 2022, saw the release of a stamp issue for poet, novelist, playwright and actor Miron Białoszewsk. He studied linguistics at the clandestine courses of the University of Warsaw during the German occupation of Poland. Following the end of the Warsaw Uprising, he was sent to a labor camp in the Third Reich, and returned to Warsaw at the end of World War II. First, he worked at the central post office, and then for a number of popular magazines, some of them for children. In 1955 Białoszewski took part in the foundation of a small theatre called Teatr na Tarczyńskiej, where he premiered his plays Wiwisekcja and Osmędeusze, and acted in them with Ludmiła Murawska. In the same year Białoszewski debuted in Życie literackie along with another renowned Polish poet and his contemporary, Zbigniew Herbert. His live-in partner was painter Leszek Soliński. The stamp is among the offerings from Post Poland.
Great Britain Releases Eight Pride Stamps
To mark the 50th anniversary of first the first protest rally in the U.K. with the name "Gay Pride," Great Britain's Royal Mail released the most ambitious pride issue yet: four se-tenant pairs in sheet format, of which four are illustrated here. The eight stamps, designed by lesbian artist Sofie Birkin, were went on sale July 1, 2022, and are denominated in the first class and international standard rates. The issue is available for order from the Royal Mail Shop. To see all eight stamps, including the international rate ones, click on the stamp image.
Pride Stamp Appears From Norway
Norway's contribution to the continuing parade of pride stamps appeared June 17, 2022. A breakthrough for the homosexual movement occurred on April 21, 1972, with the repeal of Section 213 of the Norwegian Penal Code, which prohibited sexual acts between men, and led to a more open fight for equal rights for homosexuals. The stamp is available from the Posten Web Shop.
Croatian Card Fetes Queer Zagreb
Croatia issued on June 29. 2022, a postal card for the 20th anniversary of the Queer Zagreb festival. The 2022 festival was actually held from May 24 through June 5. The card is available from WOPA+ Stamp and Coin or the Croatian ePost Shop.
Israel Issues Pride Stamp
Israel's first pride stamp was issued on June 28. Despite heat warnings, upwards of 170,000 people were said to have attended the 20th Annual Pride Parade held in Tel Aviv on June 10, 2022. The stamp is available from your favorite new issue dealer or Israel Post.
Architect Jože Plečnik on French Sheet
Architect Jože Plečnik (1872 - 1957) is depicted on the European Capitals souvenir sheet released April 25, 2022. The emission features the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, where he had a major impact on the modern architecture, along with Prague and Vienna. Plečnik was born in Maribor-Duplek in present-day Slovenia. He studied under noted Viennese architect and educator Otto Wagner and worked in Wagner's architecture office until 1910, after which he moved to Prague. Longing for his hometown, he returned to Ljubljana in 1920, where he reshaped a capital city in ways no other single architect has been able to accomplish. In a letter, a woman-friend asked Plečnik to marry her; he replied, “I am already married to my architecture." Although the Out Adventures website refers to Plečnik as the number five reason to join a 2018 gay tour of Budapest and Slovenia, and he is referred to elsewhere as "most likely homosexual," no concrete evidence has surfaced so far.
Ballet Russes Founder Gets Stamps
For the sesquicentennial of his birth, Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929), a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, appears on stamps from Russia and Monaco. Initially studying in Saint Petersburg to become a composer, he was told by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov he lacked talent. In the late 1890s, Diaghilev turned to organizing art exhibitions and became involved in the publication of a journal dedicated to the arts and in the Imperial theater. In 1906, Diaghilev emigrated from Russia, and wound up in Paris, France, the world's cultural capital. There he conceived the Ballets Russes, an itinerant company that performed in Europe, and toured North and South America between 1909 and 1929. Considered the most innovative and influential company of the 20th century, Ballets Russes completely reinvigorated the art of performing dance, and introduced its audiences to tales, music, and design motifs drawn from Russian folklore. His most famous lover was dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. After Nijinksky married a woman in 1913, Nijinksy was dismissed from Ballets Russes, though he later returned occasionally. Of Diaghilev's various lovers, only choreographer and dancer Léonide Massine, who replaced Nijinsky, provided him with "so many moments of happiness or anguish." Aside from Russian and Monoco emissions that appeared March 31 and May 9 respectively, Diaghilev and Ballets Russes have been the topic of a number of previous stamps from those countries.
Poste Italiane (Italy) issued a stamp on March 23, 2022, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ugo Tognazzi (1922-1990). While he worked primarily in Italian cinema, Tognazzi is perhaps best remembered by American audiences for his role as Renato Baldi, the gay owner of a St. Tropez nightclub, in the 1978 French comedy La Cage aux Folles