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The Independent Online

A pill bottle, a flask and a college diploma from the TV show Will and Grace are among the latest exhibits at the Smithsonian Institute.

The donations form part of an exhibition of the history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people at the National Museum of American History. Curators are collecting materials from lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual political, sports and cultural history objects from Arizona to Maryland.

Some items being donated include the diplomatic passports of Ambassador David Huebner, the first openly gay US ambassador confirmed by the Senate; materials from a gay community centre  in Baltimore; and photography documenting gay  rights activism.

From sports history, the museum will receive a tennis racket from former professional player Renee Richards, who won a landmark New York Supreme Court decision for transgender rights after she was denied entry to the US Open in 1975. And the museum will receive the first transgender pride flag from an activist and US Navy veteran.

The institute has previously collected items opposing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual rights, including protest signs from the Westboro Baptist Church. AP