Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil got married to a princess at the age of 25 in an arranged marriage. He believes that was the worst thing he had ever done – to get married to a woman. The marriage did not consummate and ended up in a divorce. But it was not just any usual divorce, since he was in a dilemma over his sexuality.
The prince suffered for around 30 years of his life, not being able to accept his sexuality. It was much later that he had the courage to come out as a homosexual. But he experienced an elated sense of freedom.
The front page news story was ‘The Prince of Rajpipla Declares that He is Homosexual’. Never before had any person from an Indian royal family had indulged in such a confession. The local people burnt his images stating that he had brought nothing but humiliation to society. His mother stated in the newspapers saying that she had disowned him and stripped him off of his inheritances.
He paved a way for a debate about homosexuality in India despite it being a taboo topic here, and created the foundation ‘Lakshya Trust’ in 2000 that works for HIV/AIDS, gay rights, and gay empowerment.
When he was invited to the Oprah Winfrey’s show, a lot of people changed their attitudes. He used the platform for global gay rights advocacy. Check out the empowering video ‘Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil ― Mission Film’ here.