San Francisco, Jan 13 (Agencies): Cementing the reputation as a Mecca for alternative lifestyles, San Francisco will be opening a gay museum on Thursday, a first of its kind in US.

The institution is known as the GLBT History Museum, the acronym standing for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender.

The museum is situated in the city's heavily homosexual Castro district and features personal items from gay pioneer Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay elected politician in California before being assassinated, as well as manuscripts, sex toys and an exhibition called "Our Vast Queer Past: Celebrating GLBT History."

"The GLBT History Museum is in the heart of the Castro, a neighbourhood visited not only by locals but also by tens of thousands of tourists every year who come in search of queer culture," said Paul Boneberg, executive director of the GLBT Historical Society.

"We have gone all out to create a museum as rich, diverse and surprising as the GLBT community itself."

In a statement, Boneberg said that the idea for the museum was conceived when more than 25,000 visitors flocked to a temporary exhibition that was staged following the 2008 release of the film Milk, for which Sean Penn won an Oscar for his portrayal of the groundbreaking gay politician.