Marching in Pride

Alistair Brown, 11.07.2017
Museums celebrate LGBTQ+ lives
There’s nothing like marching in Pride. Whether you’re LGBTQ+ or just want to show that you’re an ally, it’s a real opportunity for museum workers to literally shout about the work that we’re doing to make our institutions more inclusive, more exciting, and more diverse.

And it’s quite simply a fantastic event to be involved in. There’s something euphoric about marching down the street in front of cheering crowds screaming things like “I FREAKING LOVE MUSEUMS!” For that experience alone, I’d recommend it to anyone.

This year’s parade is the second time that we’ve organised a joint museums bloc at Pride in London. There’s a clear numerical benefit to working together on something like this. In total, some 130 museum colleagues marched together under the banner “Proud to Represent LGBTQ+ Lives”.

Just as working together is important, I sense that individual museums have really ‘got’ Pride this year, more than ever before. The rainbow flag was flying above many museums in London for the two weeks of the Pride festival, and many created programming especially for the event.

Some didn’t need to – the V&A is just one museum that has established an LGBTQ+ tour. They report that it has seen thousands of participants since its inception, with record numbers during the Pride festival.

There are, of course, many other Pride festivals, parades and events in cities around the country over the course of the year.

So while Pride in London inevitably gets national coverage, there are opportunities for all museums to get involved – and I’d love to hear from museums that are already doing so. But for those involved in this weekend’s march, we’re already thinking about how to make the museums at Pride bloc even bigger and better in 2018.

All pictures (c) Dan Vo @DanNouveau