The United Nations is using Sarasota’s National Stamp Exhibition to launch its first ever LGBT stamp series

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0
UN Free & Equal Stamps series

UN Free & Equal Stamps series

The United Nations Postal Administration announced that they will issue a series of six stamps which commemorates the fight for LGBT rights at the Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition Feb. 5.

The stamp series is a part of the UN’s Free & Equal campaign which looks to spread global education on LGBT equality and to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, according to their website.

The Free & Equal campaign recently celebrated its first year with the UN and states that in that year they have spread the organizations message to more than a billion people.

The new stamps, each one designed to celebrate the diversity of the LGBT community, are the first series ever issued by the UNPA that have an LGBT theme.

Malli Hui is a representative with the UNPA and arranged to have the LGBT stamp series presented at the Stamp Exhibition in Sarasota.

“The stamps were originally envisioned to be launched in February around Valentine’s Day, and the Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition comes as the best fit for both the time and venue for UNPA to launch the ‘Free & Equal’ stamps,” Hui says.

The launch of the series in February is the accumulation of months of discussions and preparation from the UNPA, says Hui.

“The United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) stamp issuance was decided by the Stamp Advisory Committee formed by various staff in different UN offices, who met on a regular basis to discuss and research for the best stamp theme based on the activities and achievements of the United Nations,” Hui says. “UNPA decided to feature one of the lead projects of the United Nations Human Rights Office, which is the ‘Free & Equal’ campaign to help promote and protect human rights around the world. Through numerous discussions and upon understanding the concept, the designer then uses his perception and creativeness to incorporate the message and the theme into a visual stamp image.”

The series of six stamps were designed by artist Sergio Baradat who currently serves as the Global Graphics and Communications Art Director for the UNPA.

Baradat has had his work exhibited at The Walker Art Center, The Denver Art Museum and The Aronson Galleries in New York, and has pieces on permanent display at the Smithsonian’s Postal Museum in D.C. and at the Cuban Heritage Collection in Miami.

The UNPA has only released the first stamp in the series but hopes to have the rest out very soon.

“We are still in discussions with the United Nations Human Rights Office as to how soon the rest of the stamp images can be released,” Hui says. “Perhaps one at a time near the week before the official release date.”

Once released, the stamps can be purchased at the United Nations Post Offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna. They will also be available through various national stamp exhibitions throughout the world and on their website at

The Sarasota National Stamp Exhibition is a three-day annual event from Feb. 5- 7 and will be at Sarasota’s Municipal Auditorium.

Share this story: