Museums Association news item reporting the start of a campaign for a museum of LGBTQ history in London:
“Campaigners for a gay history museum in London have placed pink filing cabinets across the city to raise awareness.
There are a number of permanent exhibitions of gay art and history in other major cities, including the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York, and the Schwules Museum in Berlin. But London doesn’t have a space dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) history.
The move for a museum is deemed necessary because despite the huge role that LGBT people have played in the history of London and the UK their stories have often been marginalised.
The pink filing cabinets aim to symbolise the millions of stories involving LGBT Londoners that sit hidden in museum archives. Campaigners want these archival documents to be unearthed and form the base of a museum, which would chronicle London’s battle for equality.
Campaigners are appealing for support to mark next year’s 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which relaxed laws against homosexuality.”
In autumn 2016, The National Archives organised “Queer and the State: the targeting and surveillance of LGBTQ+ spaces”:
“The National Archives and London Metropolitan Archives are teaming up with professional set designer Dave Benson to recreate ‘London’s Greatest Bohemian Rendezvous’ – the Caravan Club. With an exciting array of performances, you will get to experience the thrill and atmosphere of the 1930s, and learn about the underground venues that played host to Britain’s LGBTQ+ communities in the early 20th century.
In addition to this amazing experience, you will also have the chance to delve into an astonishing collection of archival documents which explore the historical state targeting and surveillance of LGBTQ+ spaces. Records include illicit love letters, undercover police reports and newly released oral testimony.
You will also get to hear from and be part of the discussion with a variety of fascinating speakers who will look at not only the cultural importance of LGBTQ+ venues – but also the enduring resilience of a community under siege from discrimination.”
Leaflet available: queer-and-the-state-event-flyer.
Also in autumn 2016, London Metropolitan Archives organised “Being Human Festival”:
“”The theme of the festival is Hope and Fear. Join us in debates around queer spaces and the surveillance of the queer community historically. Use archival material to highlight contemporary discussions around the threat to LGBT venues. There will be document discussion time, to allow you to reflect, question, participate, and feed into a final creative outcome. This event is aimed at young people aged 16-25.”