Did you notice a load of pink filing cabinets popping up around London last week? No, they aren't part of a scheme to get Londoners organising their paperwork – the cabinets are a symbol of hundreds of years of queer history gathering dust in the archives. But now a new campaign hopes to gain momentum to launch a museum dedicated to LGBT+ history in London.
The campaign was launched by LGBT collective Queer Tours of London, who joined forces in the wake of mass closures of queer cultural spaces in the capital. Last year many much-loved LGBT-friendly venues closed their doors, including First Out café in Tottenham Court Road, Candy Bar in Soho, the Joiners' Arms and the George and Dragon in Shoreditch, to name a few.
Queer activist Kid Di Pasquale told Time Out that the pink cabinets received a positive response, with many people surprised that London doesn't have a museum celebrating queer culture yet. It's a timely campaign, as 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, which decriminalised homosexuality. Pasquale was encouraged by the number of teens asking how they could be involved in raising awareness, and the community hopes to get LGBT+ history into schools.
Pasquale says the campaign calls for an end to silence and the lack of recognition: 'LGBT+ people have always existed, we have always contributed to history, we will always exist. A queer museum should preserve LGBT+ history, but also contain hope for the future and address all the struggles we are still facing.'
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