It’s not possible to work toward a future with equality for all without remembering and honoring those who came before us, and these LGBT museums around the world do just that. Pay a visit to any one of them to celebrate queer past and present in some of the most LGBT friendly cities in the world.
GLBT Historical Society’s Museum – San Francisco, California
The main gallery of the GLBT Historical Society houses the first exhibition entitled “Queer Past Becomes Present,” which follows the progression of LGBT history and highlights its relevance in the present day fight for equality. Exhibits showcase LGBT art and artifacts relating to political activism, including personal belongings of the US’s first openly gay elected official Harvey Milk, as well as documents showcasing the everyday lives of queer people throughout the past century. The museum often hosts events including video showings, performances, and community forums as part of their mission to not only celebrate LGBT history, but to foster community by embracing differences. For more information, visit www.glbthistory.org/museum.
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art – New York City, New York
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art is the ultimate source for all LGBT art. The museum seeks not only to shine a spotlight on queer artists, but to start a dialogue about LGBT issues using art as a means of communication. Leslie-Lohman has featured exhibitions in the past relating to gay and lesbian writers, AIDS, and censorship in the LGBT community. Admission to the Leslie-Lohman museum is free, but donations are encouraged and appreciated. Upcoming exhibitions will include “Art After Stonewall” and “On Our Backs: The Revolutionary Art of Queer Sex Work.” Visit www.leslielohman.org for more information.
Schwules Museum – Berlin, Germany
The Schwules Museum is a vibrant, gay Mecca of queer art and history. Some of its current exhibitions include “Rainbow Arcade – A Queer History of Video Games 1985-2018” and “Extra + Terrestrial,” which explores the concept of Otherness in relation to gender and sexuality through aliens and other mythical creatures. The museum is not afraid to take risks when it comes to potentially controversial exhibits and art, making the experience of the museum as thought provoking as it is entertaining. Visit www.schwulesmuseum.de for more information on current and upcoming exhibitions.
IHLIA LGBT Heritage – Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Netherlands has historically been LGBT inclusive, as evidenced by the IHLIA LGBT Heritage Collection, which is the largest LGBT heritage collection in Europe. IHLIA has documented all of it. Some of their notable collections include the “Pink Cabinet” and “Pink Life Stories,” which organizes LGBT literature, films, and biographies to make them easily accessible within the library. And while you’re in Amsterdam, be sure to check out the Homomonument as well. Visit www.ihlia.nl for more information on how to visit the archives.