Big Story 10

Britain's first LGBT museum to complete 'nation's family photo album'

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The history and achievements of British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are to be enshrined in the country’s first LGBT museum.

Caption, Olympic diver Tom Daley, Tim Hailes, museum founder Joseph Galliano and Dustin Lance Black at an event to launch the announcement of Britains first LBGT museum at London's Cafe Royal (Credit Hayley Madden)

The museum, called Queer Britain, will open in 2021 in London after a tour of the country to uncover further material.

“Our nation’s family photo album is incomplete and the pages are scattered,” Joseph Galliano, who is behind the project, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“It’s an opportunity to create an institution which moves from marking oppression toward celebrating role models and the enormous impact that LGBTQ+ people have had on society.”

Galliano, the former editor of Gay Times, said the museum would offer immersive experiences - using virtual reality to create empathy with the stories it will hold - and physical artefacts.

“I’d really like it to be somewhere where, if a young woman has just come out to her mother, they can go together so they can both understand a bit more about each other,” he said.

Galliano said he wanted to build on the momentum that marked the 50-year anniversary of homosexual acts being decriminalized in England in 1967.

Other cities with LGBT museums include New York and San Francisco in the United States, and Berlin and Amsterdam in Europe. There are also LGBT archives in Toronto and Melbourne.

“I look forward to the opening of the new museum and the role it will play in shining a light on LGBTQ+ history,” London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement.

Chris Smith, the first openly gay British lawmaker, and Sandy Nairne, the former director of the National Portrait Gallery, are on the advisory board, as is Lisa Power, co-founder of gay-equality organization Stonewall.