The best way to stop people from being hateful or fearful of something is to educate them about it, and the Smithsonian is taking steps to help the LGBTQ community by bringing their history to light. They’re adding hundreds of pictures and documents detailing LGBTQ history to their collection at the National Museum of American History.
Curator Katherine Ott told the Associated Press:
There have always been gender non-conforming people in the U.S., and we’ve made contributions and lived life since the beginning of the country. 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.
They’ll be adding the diplomatic passports of the first openly gay U.S. ambassador, David Huebner, photographs of gay rights activism by Patsy Lynch and Silvia Ros, and the tennis racket of professional player Renée Richards, who won a landmark victory for transgender rights when the New York Supreme Court overturned her ban from the 1976 US Open.
Another of their sources is actually the TV show Will and Grace. Much as the new additions to the museum should hopefully do, Will and Grace, no matter what you think of it as a show, made people more comfortable with the LGBTQ community by introducing people to gay characters. Scripts, photos, and props from the show will be included.
Way to go, Smithsonian. Hopefully someday we’ll live in a world where we won’t need to make a special effort to make sure everyone is properly represented by history, but this is a good start.
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