US: Smithsonian museum adding LGBT history collection

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The Smithsonian Museum has announced a new collection to mark the history of LGBT people, which will include props from TV show Will & Grace.

The famous museum, based in Washington DC, will include hundreds of new artefacts in its collection, recognising everything from the rights movement to famous TV shows.

Will and Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, along with NBC, have donated original props to the museum, alongside scripts, casting and planning documents, and political memorabilia.

David 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.

“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.”

Other items donated include the passports of the first openly gay US ambassador David Huebner and his husband, photographs documenting the gay rights LGBT from Patsy Lynch and Silvia Ros, and materials from a gay community centre.

It will also hold a tennis racket belonging to transgender player Renee Richards.

Curator Katherine Ott said: “There have always been gender non-conforming people in the US, and we’ve made contributions and lived life since the beginning of the country.

“It’s not talked about and analysed 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.”