The Smithsonian’s newly proposed American Women’s History Museum will contain exhibits honoring biological men who believe they are women.
In an interview with the New York Times, the museum’s interim director, Lisa Sasaki, said a desire to be “inclusive” is in the museum’s “DNA.”
“We have a job to build a museum that’s going to serve the public for a very, very long time,” Sasaki said. “From the DNA of this museum, there has been a desire to be inclusive.”
Despite not having an officially approved location for the new museum, the Smithsonian already has online features for future exhibits. One of them honors Sylvia Rivera, a man who identified as a woman and cofounded a militant group called Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR).
Sasaki defended featuring biological men in the exhibits because she says trans women are facing increasing violence and harassment. She added that the museum would not present a singular narrative of what it means to be a woman.
The proposed museum has already received $55 million in pledged donations, some of which came from very high-profile donors and philanthropists.
Some of them include billionaire Bill Gates’ ex-wife Melinda French Gates, Walmart heiress Alice Walton and designer Tory Burch.
“Together, we will create a museum that celebrates the women who have helped build this country. These donations are pivotal in the realization of this vision,” Sasaki said.