Bigots are raging over a Science Museum trans exhibit that doesn’t exist
Bigots are reportedly raging that the Science Museum Group reinstated an exhibit on gender identity – even though no such thing has happened.
Several articles published by right-wing outlets reported that a section of the Science Museum’s Who Am I? gallery titled Boy or Girl? had been reinstated after it faced a backlash in 2022.
The exhibit, which had been part of the gallery for more than 20 years, aimed to demonstrate the research behind the concept of the gender identity spectrum in order to break through the idea of a biological binary.
It was removed in late 2022 as part of an effort to reflect current scientific research and – despite claims to the contrary – has not returned.
A spokesperson told PinkNews that, instead, the Science Museum Group opted to create a new display called What Makes Your Sex and Gender?, which aims to more accurately depict research into gender identity.
The display is reportedly split into three new sections: birth, puberty and adulthood, and includes personal reflections on those concepts by a wide variety of people.
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It is not, as some anti-trans groups have claimed, primarily focused on transgender and non-binary people. Of the 20 stories in the displays, three are of trans and non-binary people.
Researchers reportedly worked with a number of individuals and groups to source the anecdotes, which look into issues such as acne, menopause and illness.
The spokesperson said the museum “would encourage everyone to visit the Who Am I? gallery [which had] benefited from several updates since it first opened in 2000”.
Critics believe the display is ‘pushing propaganda’
Despite the range of identities – including cisgender and transgender people – being represented in the new displays, the director of advocacy at Sex Matters, Helen Joyce, told The Telegraph that she believed it was pushing propaganda.
“They have made it less in-your-face but, in some ways, that’s more insidious,” Joyce claimed. “The fake penises and chest-binding equipment may be out of sight, but so are the obvious warning signs for parents.”
Sex Matters describe themselves as a human rights organisation that aims to promote clarity about sex in law, policy and language. But it has also been labelled anti-trans, with their website boasting statements such as: “No child or teenager believes they need to modify their body to match their gender non-conformity.”
The website also says the group also petitioned the government to amend the 2010 Equality Act to “make clear” that “sex” means biological sex.
The item Joyce appeared to be alluding to, detailed in the Science Museum Group’s collection page, is a penis prosthetic item known as a “packer” which was donated by a young transgender individual.
A GB News segment described the exhibit as “sexist and insidious”.
It was initially used as part of a temporary exhibition in 2013 at the Science Museum called What Makes Your Gender?, which was curated by a focus group of trans people working with Gendered Intelligence.
It was, as the museum group puts it, “chosen as a way to express their gender identity, through exploring changes to the outward presentation of their body”.
Others have claimed several of the items on display are illicit or too sexually explicit to be viewed.
This is despite the Science Museum Group having at least 357 items in its collection relating to sex or sexuality, most of which have nothing to do with LGBTQ+ people. These include depictions of sex acts from as far back as 3000 BCE, contraceptive pills, condoms and historical fetish items.
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