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Opinion: A Sydney ‘copshop' with a dark history. And the gay community reclaiming it

·1 min

This week, the world’s biggest permanent LGBTQI+ museum will open in a venue that has raised eyebrows. Qtopia, Sydney’s first center for LGBTQI+ history and culture, and Australia’s only queer museum, will be officially opened by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday at the former Darlinghurst Police Station. The move to a permanent home at the former police station has caused controversy among the ‘78ers, who were the marchers in Sydney’s first Mardi Gras protest in 1978. Despite the division, the opening is seen as a triumph for the LGBTQI+ community. It is an opportunity to reclaim a site of oppression and transform it into a place of remembrance and celebration. Qtopia has taken into account the sensitivities of the ‘78ers by providing on-site therapists and videographers to record their stories. The opening of Qtopia is significant as it provides a permanent space to learn and heal and helps to fill the gap in mainstream museums’ representation of LGBTQI+ history.