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  • Writer's pictureDemi Lynch

India's First Openly Gay Prince Is Fighting To Ban Gay Conversion Therapy



As the first openly gay prince of India, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil is a proud advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community in India.


After the Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality in 2018, Gohil turned his palace grounds into a shelter for vulnerable members of the LGBTQIA+ community.


He also launched the Lakshya Trust - a community-led charity that aims to educate individuals about sexual tolerance, gender equity, HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQIA+ community in general.


Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil standing with the Pride flag
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil. Source: Tatler

Gohil's advocacy stems from his own difficult past where he endured years discrimination from his family and the public.


In 2006 Gohil publicly came out as gay - this led to protests and even death threats.


"The day I came out, my effigies were burnt," he says, "there were a lot of protests, people took to the streets and shouted slogans saying that I brought shame and humiliation to the royal family and to the culture of India - there were death-threats and demands that I be stripped off of my title."


Gohil was also publicly disowned by his parents and forced to endure four years of torturous conversion therapy.


"They approached doctors to operate on my brain to make me straight and subjected me to electroshock treatments," he says.



Despite the hardship and prejudice, the prince has continued his crusade for equal rights.


He hopes to use his position as Prince of India to create a more accepting future for the LGBTQIA+ community in India.⁠


"It's important for people like me who have a certain reputation in society to continue the advocacy," he says, "we have to fight for issues like same-sex marriage, right to inheritance, right to adoption - it's a never-ending cycle, I have to keep fighting."


 


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