Austrian Post will be making philatelic history when it releases a postage stamp commemorating the 15th Regenbogenparade (Rainbow Parade) in Vienna on July 3.
The special stamp was designed by Christian Högl, who works as a professional graphic designer in addition to his volunteer activities as HOSI Wien’s co-president. He also created the graphic designs for the Rainbow Parade for the last eight years.
“Austrian Post will dedicate one of the 60 postal stamps to be issued this year to this event,” said Jona Solomon, co-president of Homosexuelle Initiative (HOSI) Wien, Austria’s oldest and leading gay and lesbian organisation, that has been organising the gay pride parade in Vienna since 2003.
“To our knowledge this is the first time in the world that a postal authority is issuing a special stamp on a gay/lesbian occasion. At least, we are not aware that this has happened before anywhere in the world.”
Austrian Post will also set-up a special post office at Regenbogenparade. It will be located at Schwarzenbergplatz, the square in downtown Vienna where the parade ends with a five-hour celebration of music and speeches.
Stamp collectors and parade participants will have the opportunity to buy the stamp, also on first-day covers, and to bring their letters and postcards to get them stamped with the special first-day postmark. HOSI Wien will also print postcards so that participants can send greeting from the parade to family and friends using the rainbow parade stamp.
“Austrian Post is again writing philatelic history with this stamp – [an] innovative and courageous move.,” acknowledged Kurt Krickler, HOSI Wien’s secretary-general.
“We are really proud that Austria is delivering a real sensation here recognising the Rainbow Parade’s significance as one of Austria’s largest and most important events against social exclusion and discrimination. We hope that many postal authorities in the world will follow and dedicate stamps to LGBT themes.”
With a face value of 55 eurocents, the postage for a standard letter or postcard within Austria, 250,000 stamps have been printed. The stamp can be purchased as from June 25 but will only be valid for postage from July 3.