Joseph Galliano will be presenting with Molly Merriman (Kent State University) at this year’s OUTing the Past Conference. Joseph is the founder and CEO of Queer Britain, and Molly serves as the Research Director for the project.
Origins, Missions and Visions of Queer Britain,
the National LGBTQ+ Museum
Historically, whatever our opponents might say, LGBTQ+ people have so often been given crumbs from the cultural table. The reality of people’s lives have been underacknowledged and a limited set of narratives constructed around us. It’s one of the reasons why the work of LGBT History Month and Outing The Past and similar initiatives are so vital, and why a national queer museum is so desperately needed.
We envision a space where a rich and wild diversity of lives and stories are to be celebrated and explored and a permanent space is created to hold them up. This will demonstrate clearly to the whole world that our stories are to be treasured. It will root us in the culture and also act as a beacon of hope to those living in harsher regimes around the world that their lives matter, their lives are important.
More than this, there are so many stories to be told that there is no hope that this could be covered by existing museums. Yes, they should continue to up their game when it comes to queering their collections but there’s only so much that they can and will do.
There has been much brilliant work undertaken by the heritage sector and organisations like LGBT History Month, and Queer Britain aspires to be a resource that will amplify and hold up these champions.
And it must be accessible and outward looking: we need to create a central resource to celebrate and educate about queer history to everyone; people who identify with a letter in the acronym and the wider population. This will be British History through a queer lens. We need to reach beyond queer communities. Queer people do not exist in a vacuum and so our stories are everyone’s. Our message is that if you don’t know these histories, you don’t know British history.