Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is India’s first openly gay prince.
Gohil made a video with Come Out Loud, an organisation striving to unite the LGBT community. The prince, who gained international prominence after speaking about his sexuality on Oprah in 2007 — describes his long journey from experimenting with his sexuality with his servant as a boy to getting married to a princess in 1991, which made him realise he was not sexually attracted to women.
“When I was around 12 or 13, I realised I wasn’t attracted towards the opposite sex, I was attracted to the same sex. Why is this attraction happening? I wasn’t clear about it because I did not have communication with anyone.”
Under pressure from the rest of the royal family, Gohil’s parents publicly disowned and disinherited him three months after news of his sexuality broke. But after he travelled the world to tell his story, his parents reversed their decision and accepted him back into the family.
Gohil says that: “Being brought up with servants and not many friends… no internet… it was a very confusing state.”
He began to travel the world in order to share his story and, after some time, his parents welcomed him home again.
The prince works as an activist fighting to decriminalise homosexuality in India.
Gohil ends his video with this strikingly powerful message: “We’re all human beings. We should be treated equally and be given the rights which we have been denied. All we expect from the society is love. Gay rights cannot just be won in the courtroom, but also in the hearts and minds of the people we live with.”
Watch the video here: