First UK National LGBTQ+ History Museum Opens in London

rainbow cape, wore and donated by Olly Alexander LGBTQ+ history museum

Queer Britain opened its doors in London’s King’s Cross, hoping to be a place ‘as exciting as the people, stories and ideas it explores and celebrates’

UK got its own LGBTQ+ History Museum. It’s been four years in the making and is entirely financed by private donations.

“Queer people have impacted every part of culture, yet all too often their lives have been written in the margins of history books,” LGBTQ+ Museum operators write on its website. “Valuable stories and artefacts are being lost. Once gone, they may never be recovered. We are giving these a dedicated space to be preserved, explored and celebrated.” 

Among the collected LGBTQ+ items are photos, artworks and costumes, such as Gay Pride 1983 pink plastic balloon badge, prison-made tapestry donated by Britain’s longest-serving trans prisoner, Sarah Jane Baker, and a famous rainbow cape, wore and donated by Olly Alexander (in the photo).

The force behind the museum, is co-founder and director Joseph Galliano, who’s a former editor of U.K.’s Gay Times magazine.

“There’ve been attempts to set up museums like this before, but I think the cultural landscape and the activism landscape weren’t yet quite right at that point,” Galliano said. “It’s also a long job that requires somebody hitting the streets every day to make it work, and I’ve done that for the last five years now.”

“We’ll always be changing and adapting and putting on exhibitions that will address different community stories and different communities’ stories,” Galliano told NBC News. “Our next exhibition, however, is going to be a sort of flag in the sand for the kind of things that Queer Britain wants to do. It’ll be a cacophony of different community voices, artifacts, art objects, imagery and people.”

Admission to Queer Britain will be free to the public, with donations welcomed to support its work. The Museum is located at 2 Granary Square,King’s Cross, London N1C 4BH. Opening Hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 12–6pm.