But there is one section of the British community that has never been represented in a museum, even though it accounts for as much as 10 per cent of the population. Jack Gilbert, the executive director of Proud Heritage, hopes to change that in three years’ time when the country’s first gay museum, opens in London’s King’s Cross. It will be called Proud Nation.
“It’s an invisible history which couldn’t be told because it couldn’t be researched, but that has changed now,” he says. “It will be serious on one level, because we believe that, to have full equality our history, our culture and the full diversity of our lived experience has to be to be recorded and represented. But it will be fun, too.”
One exhibit he hopes to get is the door to the cell that held Oscar Wilde in Reading Gaol, where he did much of his two years’ hard labour for so-called “gross indecency”.