"It's an opportunity to create an institution which moves from marking oppression towards celebrating role models and the enormous impact that LGBTQ+ people have had on society"
By Lee Mannion
LONDON, March 1 (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.
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 towards 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 decriminalised 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 organisation Stonewall.
(Reporting by Lee Mannion @leemannion, Editing by Robert Carmichael. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit http://news.trust.org)
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