We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

A National LGBT Museum doesn’t just make sense for America. A queer museum specifically belongs in the Smithsonian Institution—to pay tribute to Smithsonian founding donor and namesake, James Smithson, who was maybe (probably) gay himself. People who follow the Smithsonian know that’s not very damn likely: “Hide/Seek,” the first major public museum survey on gay contributions to and themes in American art (mounted at the National Portrait Gallery in late 2010), caused a stir among conservatives. When they poked then–Secretary of the Smithsonian G. Wayne Clough over the show, threatening to get Congress involved, he backed down without putting up a fight, pulling a video by David Wojnarowicz from the exhibit. It just goes to show how necessary a museum like the one proposed by Velvet Foundation founders Tim and Mitchell Gold is for the nation. But where to put it? With talk of museums for women and Latino Americans, a museum for queer Americans might not fit on the overcrowded National Mall—even though it belongs there.