Mayor of London Sadiq Khan backs plans for LGBT museum in London

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Pride 2017

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has backed plans for a queer museum in London.

The Mayor gave his support for Queer Britain, a project announced this week to create “a world-leading LGBTQ+ museum” in London.

Organisers say the museum will  “shine a light on to its communities’ rich and complex history.”

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “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.”

Sadiq Khan holding a rainbow roundel

Margot James, the Conservative Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, also backed the plans.

Ms James, who is one of the few out women in government, said: “I think the idea of a queer museum is absolutely essential to our cultural history and our social history as a country.”

Entrepreneur Joseph Galliano is behind the planned museum, which will be the second museum of its kind in Europe, following Berlin’s acclaimed Schwules Museum*.

While the Schwules Museum* is dedicated more widely to exhibits relating to LGBT life, Galliano explains: “People came out of their closets, now it’s time to come out of the margins.

“Queer Britain will be the first national museum for all, regardless of sexuality and gender identity. It will fully celebrate and reflect the lives of LGBTQ+ people of all backgrounds. It will help complete the nation’s family tree.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

A release adds: “Not only will the space play host to a museum of permanent and temporary exhibits, it will be an essential resource for everyone to feel a part of the culture they have been born into or seek to understand.

“Alongside exhibitions, Queer Britain will also host a number of multifaceted spaces to be used by the LGBTQ+ community.”

The location for the museum is yet to be announced, but the organisers say a suitable site has been identified.

A launch event for the museum will take place tonight.

A release adds: “Given that many LGBTQ+ lives have been, and some continue to be, led in private, there is a gaping hole in British culture. Many stories have been lost, forgotten or buried and Queer Britain will preserve these vital accounts of LGBTQ+ history.

“Between now and the anticipated opening of the museum in 2021, Queer Britain will be collecting stories from the LGBTQ+ community nationwide and their allies to ensure these vital pieces of history are understood and celebrated for years to come.”

The planned museum’s website adds: “Queer Britain is working to establish the UK’s first national LGBTQ+ museum, a place as exciting as the people, stories and ideas it explores and celebrates. It will be an essential place for all regardless of sexuality or gender identity, to find out about the culture they have been born into, have chosen or seek to understand.

“[It will be] a bricks and mortar museum with an innovative digital presence and a strong educational remit. It will feature objects and records from the world’s of art, fashion, film, literature, TV, theatre, news, music, diaries, letters, photographs, legal records. Video/ audio interviews with queer people of all ages and backgrounds, activists, their friends, allies, families, observers and opponents.

“Queer Britain is going to survey the nation’s museums, archives and personal collections to understand what stories and artefacts that tell the nation’s queer history are already out there, then we will design a story gathering campaign from that.”