Stoli Celebrates LGBTQ Icon Harvey Milk With Commemorative Bottle

Sunday May 23, 2021
Originally published on May 21, 2021

Stoli global collector's edition bottle featuring Harvey Milk.
Stoli global collector's edition bottle featuring Harvey Milk.   (Source:Matthew Wexler)

Stoli Vodka continues its commitment to celebrating the LGBTQ community with its latest partnership: a global collector's edition bottle featuring Harvey Milk and the artwork of Oz Montanía.

Stoli launched the first Harvey Milk Limited Edition bottle in 2018, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Milk taking office in 1978 as the first openly gay elected official in California. As EDGE previously reported, the brand's past partnerships have involved supporting Chicago's Legacy Project; a mural and bottle design commission by out artist and activist Lisa Marie Thalhammer; and the Stoli Key West Cocktail Classic, an annual search for the best LGBTQ and ally bartenders from across the country.

"The Harvey Milk Foundation is excited to see our long-term partnership with Stoli Vodka go global this year," said Harvey Milk Foundation Education Director and Counsel Miriam Richter. "The 2021 HMF/Stoli collaboration is a message to people all over the globe that visibility is vital and that hope cannot be silenced, not just LGBTQ+ people, but for ALL people."

Established by Harvey's nephew, Stuart Milk, and his campaign manager, Anne Kronenberg, the Harvey Milk Foundation works around the world to empower and support LGBTQ voices and communities. Keeping with Harvey's values and vision for the future, the Harvey Milk Foundation works for a diverse and liberated world where everyone is free to be their authentic selves.

"As a company recommitting itself as a true global organization devoted to sustainable equality, there could be no better partner for the first true Stoli Global LGBTQ+ Limited Edition than the Harvey Milk Foundation (HMF)," said Stoli Global LGBTQ+ Ambassador Patrik Gallineaux. "Harvey Milk's legacy and spirit and the Harvey Milk Foundation's unparalleled work around the globe transcend borders and uplift Stoli's promise to liberate authentic voices in pursuit of a better world."

The past year has seen the world band together, finding ways to stay connected and care for each other despite all the challenges and obstacles of the global pandemic. It saw the cancellation of in-person Pride celebrations worldwide, altering the rhythms by which we express our pride. This season will bring a combination of in-person and online events. EDGE continues to report on the latest Pride developments, both domestically and abroad.

For Paraguayan street artist Oz Montanía, Pride is powerful.

"Creating the art for the second Harvey Milk commemorative bottle with Stoli is an honor and a privilege for me," said Montanía. "With this global launch, we will be able to highlight Harvey Milk's life's work that has inspired countless organizations and individuals to this day around the world. The image is taken from the 1978 Gay Pride Parade in San Francisco, where Harvey Milk and other marchers held signs protesting the Briggs Initiative — a state proposition that would have made it mandatory for school boards to fire openly gay and lesbian teachers. Using those iconic reference images, I re-imagined a contemporary crowd in the background, depicting Harvey Milk's leadership legacy that continues to this day. This work serves to honor the legacy of an exceptional human being."