London is planning the world’s largest LGBTQ museum

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If all goes as planned, the world’s largest LGBTQ museum will be unveiled in just a few years—in London. The museum will be a brick-and-mortar building with the standard type of exhibits, but will also include a strong digital component, including video and audio interviews with “queer people of all backgrounds and ages.”

Queer Britain is the brainchild of Joseph Galliano, a journalist and charity communications strategist.

“I want it to be somewhere that people can see themselves reflected and validated in the heart of the culture, in a confident, mainstream institution,” Galliano told Buzzfeed.

“If you can show people the different possibilities that have existed in the past – and all the things they can be – they can imagine the future more clearly,” he added.­

Galliano has assembled an impressive array of experts and institutions to help build the museum, including Lord Chris Smith, the first openly gay member of Parliament, and Lisa Power, a long-time activist and co-founder of the UK’s leading LGBT group, Stonewall.

The museum has a lot of potential materials to exhibit. There are the photos, placards, and buttons of the modern movement. But there’s also the door of Oscar Wilde’s prison cell and the Warren Cup, a first-century drinking cup that shows male couples having sex, which currently resides in the British Museum.

Galliano credits his own journey as a gay man to a correspondence with filmmaker Derek Jarman, who came to speak at his university when Galliano was 18. As a result, Galliano wants the museum to include an LGBTQ family tree, which traces the influence of queer people through time.

Of course, the U.S. could have an amazing national LGBTQ museum to supplement the great work being done by local museums. Just don’t look for one on the National Mall anytime soon.

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