The idea was originally proposed by Peter Tatchell and taken up by Green Party candidate Darren Johnson, but now has the backing of both the Labour and Tory Mayoral candidates as well.
“London's lesbian and gay community has a fascinating, hidden history spanning more than four centuries. The museum could display everything from eighteenth century molly house artefacts, to badges and placards from the campaign to repeal Section 28,” says Mr Tatchell
"The museum would not only document the lives and experiences of lesbian and
gay Londoners, but also provide administrative, archive and exhibition space
for the Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Lesbian & Gay News Archive", added
In addition to documenting and collating this history, the museum would provide community meeting space and a venue for events like art exhibitions.
“OutRage! is delighted to hear that there is so much support for the museum” said spokesperson Brett Lock, “the lives and stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have been largely ignored and even written out of the ‘official’ history books. Much of history has been ‘sanitised’ of our queer lives and this project will be an invaluable resource in reclaiming much of it.”
"We need to take care of the future as much as remembering the past. I think it would be a fantastic place for people just coming out to have access to the community groups that might meet there. It would mean that their 'first contact' with their community would be positive and affirming rather than with the "the scene", which is often a little intimidating and alienating" he adds.
OutRage! also believes that efforts to acquire the old Bow Street Police Station, a nineteenth century Grade II listed building is most appropriate. It was the police station where Oscar Wilde was charged and held after his arrest in 1895.
“It is fitting and suitably ironic that the building in which one of the most notorious persecutions in gay history began might soon be the place where queer history is remembered – and celebrated,” says Lock.