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By Alicia Banks, Los Angeles Times

Harvey Milk, the slain politician who became an icon of equal rights not just for the gay community in San Francisco but across the nation, will be commemorated in a forever stamp next month, the U.S. Postal Service announced Tuesday.

The stamp’s issue will coincide with Milk’s birthday on May 22. The stamps will be available in sheets of 20 and may be pre-ordered.

The image on the stamp comes from a circa-1977 photo taken by Daniel Nicoletta of Milk in front of Castro Street Camera in San Francisco. Antonio Alcala of Alexandria, Va., oversaw art direction for the stamp.

The stamp comes a little more than 35 years after Milk’s assassination in San Francisco City Hall alongside then-Mayor George Moscone on Nov. 27, 1978. Milk had won a seat on the Board of Supervisors in 1977.

In a news release, the Postal Service called Milk a “visionary leader” who gave hope and confidence to the LGBT community.

Milk’s legacy has continued to thrive decades after his death with numerous books and films made about his life. In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Milk the Medal of Freedom.

A ceremony marking the stamp’s first-day issue will take place at the White House on May 22. San Francisco will host a Harvey Milk Forever Stamp dedication ceremony for the public May 28.

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