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Queer Britain rolls out ‘The Place To Be Seen’ campaign to launch LGBTQ+ museum

David Murphy

Queer Britain has rolled out a campaign called ‘The Place To Be Seen’, to launch officially launch the UK’s first LGBTQ+ museum at Granary Square, Kings Cross, London. The campaign was created by M&C Saatchi.

After a soft launch period, the museum’s first physical home opens officially today with its inaugural exhibition, ‘We Are Queer Britain’. The show includes artefacts such as Oscar Wilde’s prison cell door; the stage outfit that Years and Years’ Olly Alexander came out in; and a rainbow Hijab.

M&C Saatchi has partnered with and nurtured Queer Britain for the past four years on its road towards this landmark physical presence, providing office space and strategic and brand support, as well as helping to build its photographic archive through a partnership with Getty Images, and also aiding its fundraising efforts through initiatives such as the launch of the Madame F wine range.

The campaign, which is running across out-of-home, digital and social channels, does not lead on the rainbow as its visual cue. Instead, honouring the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride March, it draws on protest placards for a strong typographic solution that acknowledges both the power and importance of visibility, but also the joy of self-worth and self-acceptance it can help promote.

“Without M&C Saatchi, Queer Britain would not have come so far, so fast,” said Queer Britain Co-founder and Director, Joseph Galliano. “The passion and support and generous creativity they have shared has been nothing short of inspiring. They are forever in the walls, forever our family. This launch campaign is stunning and beautifully articulated a core idea about us that we never could have done alone.”

Despite advances in LGBTQ+ visibility and acceptance, homophobic hate crimes are on the rise in Britain. UK Government numbers on police-recorded hate crimes (published 26 November 2021) show hate crimes related to sexual orientation increased by 324 per cent in the 10 years to 2021; and recorded hate crimes against transgender people increased by 789 per cent in the same period. And these worrying numbers continue to trend upward. This is despite the fact the most recent Galop report into Hate Crime (2021) reports just 1 in 8 LGBTQ+ victims report hate crimes to police.

“The need for visibility remains vital, and having a permanent physical space for queer people and allies is an important step forward,” said Golik. “Plus, having proud queer faces on posters across London means the launch campaign itself supports the museum’s own objectives.”

Clear Channel is on board as the campaign’s media partner, supporting with outdoor space across London. This is bolstered by street posters through Jack Agency, and social and digital content through Queer Britain and partner networks, including prominent influencers and corporate supporters.

Long-form and social film content has been created with new queer production company WendyVision and award-winning queer filmmaker Darius Shu.

On-screen talent includes cast from break-out Netflix hit Heartstopper (Tobie Donovan and Kizzy Edgell); TV personalities such as Dr Ranj Singh; Drag Race UK alumni including Kitty Scott-Claus, Ella Vaday and Bimini Bon Boulash; non-binary journalist and activist Jamie Windust; and leading queer TikTokers such as Grace Barry, Maddie Grace Jepson and Bel Priestly.

The launch campaign will be enhanced by its own art commission, ‘Seen at Queer Britain’, a project by queer portrait photographer Amy Maidment that will capture visitors on the opening day.

M&C Saatchi has also turned its ‘The Place To Be Seen’ campaign into a range of merchandise to be sold in the museum’s shop, to help continue to fundraise and support the museum’s ongoing costs.