The National Museum of American History, part of the Smithsonian complex, is expanding its collection of artifacts relating to LGBT history.
Creators of Will & Grace, the groundbreaking and highly successful TV show that depicted gay people as people and not merely tokens, donated a number of props and other trinkets from the show to kickstart the new museum collection. Those contributions include scripts, casting ideas, political memorabilia, and a few props from the show itself.
Other new additions to the collection include the diplomatic passport of David Huebner, the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador confirmed by the Senate; trans tennis player Renée Richards’s racket; and the original transgender pride flag.
“There have always been gender-nonconforming people in the U.S., and we’ve made contributions and lived life since the beginning of the country,” Katherine Ott, one of the curators, told AP. “It’s not talked about and analyzed and understood in the critical ways in which it should be. So for us to build the collection means we can more fully document the history of this country.”
Will & Grace co-creator David Kohan told the news service that he and his colleagues never dreamed the show would be so honored when it premiered in 1998. “These particular guests that were invited into people’s living rooms happened to be your gay friends. I don’t think people really had the opportunity to have that before, and it served to, I think, make people recognize that your close friends were gay,” Kohan said. “The fact that it’s in the American history [museum], maybe we were a part of something that was bigger than we ever imagined.”
This is so cool! Need to add a museum visit to my list of things to do.