Campaigners call for London to get gay museum

Campaigners in London are to place pink filing cabinets at iconic venues around the capital to call for the city’s first LGBT museum.

The calls come as England and Wales mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality next year and organisers believe it’s an opportunity to unearth the city’s battle for equality.

The cabinets are designed to symbolise millions of stories involving LGBT Londoners that currently sit in official archives.

They will be placed at 11 locations around London, including: Camden, where Victorian gay men would meet secretly and Piccadilly Circus, where male prostitutes known as ‘Dilly Boys’ would do their business.

Jan Pimblett from London Metropolitan Archives told the Evening Standard that LGBT people have always been part of history but are often marginalised and made invisible.

“An LGBTQ+ museum will be an important step in the mainstreaming of these rich and important histories,” she said.

Salma Tiff, an activist and supporter of a dedicated LGBT museum, said: “Unfortunately for most of us, our families often can’t or don’t teach us about our history simply because it’s not theirs.”

Campaigners argue that because sexuality and the LGBT community have been such a big part of the capital there should be a dedicated space.

Although London does often exhibit LGBT art in temporary shows, other cities around the world, including Berlin and New York, already have permanent exhibitions.

Here are all the locations you can see the pink filing cabinets:

– Vere St, Camden – the site of Victorian Molly houses
– 239 Kings Road – the site of Gateways, a lesbian club
– Stoke Newington Town Hall – Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners concert
– Regent’s Park – first Black Pride
– Piccadilly Circus – cruising spot and home to the ‘Dilly Boys’
– Houses of Parliament – lesbians abseiling in protest of Section 28
– Kings St, Covent Garden – Gay Liberation Front meeting place
– Bow St – Fanny and Stella
– Royal Albert Hall – Miss World protest
– National Theatre – LGBT performers and playwrights
– Charing Cross Hospital – Gender clinic
– The Arches, Villiers St – Heaven nightclub (evening)
– Dalston Superstore (evening)