Camelot Roomhq

Sign, Collection of Museum London, Gift of Vanessa Brown, 2016.

The Camelot Room

Happy Pride London! Pictured above is a piece from our 45,000 strong historical artifact collection. This sign once hung in a place which helped create a safe haven for LGBT2QI+ folks.
It is currently on display in our exhibition Difficult Terrain. Please read below to learn more about the history behind one of London's first safe spaces and responses from the co-curators of the exhibition. We've also partnered with the Pride London Festival for our film screening Much Miss Chief: Films and Videos by Kent Monkman and on Pride events such as the Intersectionality Panel with Gia Gunn, Heels & Waacking Workshop, and the Pride Spotlight Party featuring Gia Gunn.

Amber Lloydlangston, Curator of Regional History
This above sign once hung in Hotel London (1927-1972). It represents something special: the history of London’s LGBT2QI+ community. The Camelot Room was a haven for members of this community. It was a place where they socialized, built a community, and escaped societal persecution. This is something to celebrate. Why include it in this exhibition? It’s here because the Camelot Room was a haven. It helps underline the fact that many in London did not accept this community, especially those with power and authority. As late as 1995, for example, London mayor Dianne Haskett and London City Council refused to issue a Gay Pride Proclamation.

Amanda Myers
This sign for me represents the need for safe spaces because often public spaces are not. This need often stems from colonial agendas facilitated through controlling bodies such as the government and the church. It is very important for our physical and mental health to live our truth, if we are unable to live our truth then how can we love ourselves? We have been oppressed as humans for hundreds of years by colonial power, it has only been through grassroots movements that the allowance for truth has come to the forefront of public thought. For me this sign represents that safe space where the truth grows.

Samantha Matty
Freedom. For those who identify within the LGBT2Q+ community, we know the importance of safety - of finding a place where you belong, where you are loved, where you can stand free in your own identity and expression. Sometimes we find safety in those hidden secret places, like the Camelot Room. I can imagine the freedom that people felt behind those four walls, when outside those walls they had laws and a social culture opposing them. Many of us have learned to straddle two worlds- one world, where we have the privilege to experience freedom and another world, where we are living in secrecy and fear.