The Smithsonian Institution announced Aug. 19 that it will now include hundreds of photographs, papers, and historical objects detailing the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community.
The items include everything from the diplomatic passports of the first openly gay U.S. Ambassador, David Huebner, and his husband, to curating classic sitcoms such as the TV show “Will and Grace.”
According to the Associated Press, “Will and Grace” creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnicksaid the Smithsonian’s interest in the show was an honor that they never dreamed of when the sitcom first aired in 1998. The sitcom, which ran until 2006, chronicles the dating life of four friends, two openly gay males and two straight females. The show ended with the main characters eventually becoming a couple and having children.
The creators of the show and NBC will donate original scripts, casting ideas, props, and political memorabilia to the museum.
“These particular guests that were invited into people’s living rooms happened to be your gay friends,” Kohan said to the Associated Press. “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.”
Curators for the museum will also add to the collection a tennis racket from former professional tennis player Renee Richards. According to the website LGBThistorymonth, Richards became a transgendered icon in 1977 when she won a landmark lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association. She sued the association for its denial to let her compete in the U.S. Open women’s division after her gender reassignment surgery from biological male to female.
The collection will also include photographs from Patsy Lynch and Sylvia Ros, in addition to other materials from a gay community center in Baltimore.