Queer narratives and the collective history of LGBT people are seldom found in the pages of textbooks or on the walls of many popular museums. One man is looking to change that with the opening of the world’s largest LGBT museum, where the stories and achievements of LGBT people will proudly be on display for years to come.
London will serve as the home of the groundbreaking, immersive museum. Called Queer Britain, the museum is slated to open in 2021 after curators take a tour of the United Kingdom to uncover further exhibition material.
The man behind the project is Joseph Galliano. A former editor of Gay Times, Galliano said the LGBT museum will offer immersive experiences — using virtual reality to create empathy with the stories it holds — and physical artifacts.
“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,” Galliano said.
“The history [of LGBT people] has been recorded in a very piecemeal way and if you just take men, the most visible part of the community, the pre-1960s generation is aging, we’re losing those stories and a lot were already hidden,” he said. “If you think about BAME [black, Asian, and other ethnic minority] people, women and trans people’s stories, which were prioritized even less than the men’s stories, than that’s a wealth of untold material.”
Galliano already has the backing of some influential people, including London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan. Khan explained, “As Mayor, it’s so important to me that London is seen as a city where LGBTQ+ people feel valued, happy and safe – this sends a clear message to the world that London is a beacon of diversity.”
“I look forward to the opening of the new museum and the role it will play in shining a light on LGBTQ+ history,” Kahn said