Kohan told The Associated Press the Smithsonian's interest in the show featuring gay principal characters was a validation they never dreamed about when the sitcom began airing in 1998. "Will and Grace" ran through
"These particular guests that were invited into people's living rooms happened to be your gay friends," Kohan said. "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."
"The fact that it's in the American history (museum), maybe we were a part of something that was bigger than we ever imagined," Kohan said.
The donation is part of larger effort to document gay and lesbian history, an area that has not been well understood at the museum. Curators are collecting materials from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual political, sports and cultural history objects from
Some items being donated include the diplomatic passports of Ambassador
From sports history, the museum will receive a tennis racket from former professional player
"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," said Curator
"Will and Grace" used comedy to familiarize a mainstream audience with gay culture, said Curator
"We're very interested in how entertainment can act as sort of a buffer to make people think and understand the challenges in American life," he said.
The show creators also donated a letter from Focus on the Family in 2000 objecting to an episode making fun of reparative gay therapy, along with the show's flippant and dismissive written response. The museum wanted to document that as well.
The Smithsonian has previously collected items opposing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual rights, including protest signs from the
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