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Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories at the British Museum

  • The British Museum The British Museum, Great Russell Street WC1B 3DG United Kingdom (map)
 Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories (Photograph: British Museum)

Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories (Photograph: British Museum)

A series of activites at the British Museum featuring in the Pride in London Festival 2017..

Display and trail
To mark 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act was passed, The British Museum have curated a display that offers glimpses into LGBT+ histories, experiences and lives by examining objects from around the world, covering ancient civilisations right up to today. The ways same-sex desire, love and gender diversity have been expressed culturally has varied significantly throughout history, and across the globe. From prominent figures of the classical world like the Roman emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous to modern-day drag queens in Japan, this show presents stories that have often been overlooked or underrepresented. A trail featuring objects in the permanent galleries that relate to LGBTQ histories will also accompany the show.
Display and trail runs 11th May - 15th October 2017 starting in gallery 69a.

Panel Discussion
What makes an object LGBT+? Chaired by the co-curator of the Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ histories, the discussion features Professor Richard Parkinson, University of Oxford and author of A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity Across the World.
Friday 7th July, 6.30pm
BP Lecture Theatre
£5 (£3 conc)

Digital Workshop
LGBT+: digital rethink. Digital workshop for those aged 7+
Saturday 8th July, 11am, 1pm & 3pm
Galleries 51, 69 & 70
Free, just drop in

For details of further LGBT+ events in this series that fall outside of the Pride in London Festival please visit the British Museum website, or contact the organiser directly using the details at the bottom of this page.

Display trail free. Some events are ticketed at a cost.


  • Accessible toilets
  • Assistance dog friendly
  • No BSL interpretation
  • Fully accessible
  • No induction loop
  • No speech to text


  • Free
  • Family friendly
  • No meet and greet
  • Under 18s welcome

When you're there

  • No gender neutral toilets
  • May be alcohol
  • May be crowds
  • May be flashing lights
  • May be loud noises

Contact British Museum if you have any questions about this event.

Earlier Event: June 23
In Visible Ink Exhibition
Later Event: June 24
Angels in America