The world’s only openly gay royal, Indian prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, has made it his personal mission to campaign for reform of India’s anti-LGBT laws.

Prince Gohil, from the state of Gujarat in western India, first came out in 2006 and recently announced plans to open his palace as a community centre for LGBT people.

Indian law currently criminalises sexual acts between members of the same sex, but the Supreme Court of India has ordered a review of the legislation in 2018.

He said while social change had been slow, things were getting better for young gay, lesbian and transgender people in India.

“Definitely there has been a huge change in the last 11 years [since I came out]. There have been some parents who have accepted their children,” he said.

“There has also been a lot of change in the way that the media has been reporting. Earlier, the media would get the stories mixed up and say it’s unnatural and illegal and immoral.

“Now the media has also started reporting positive stories, and that’s a very good thing. The more support we get from society outside of the community, that’s something which will help us win our rights.”

The news of Mr Gohil’s own homosexuality in India 11 years ago prompted a media backlash and violent public retaliation.

“The people of my kingdom, they all revolted and they burned my effigies in fire, and they protested against my coming out,” he said.

“[They said] that I should be stripped of my title, I should not be allowed to attend any functions and I should be socially boycotted.

“My parents, the king and queen, they brought out public notices saying they would like to publicly disown me from the royal family and publicly disinherit me from the ancestral property.”

The response to his coming out was not entirely unexpected though, and something Mr Gohil attributed to an ignorance of LGBT issues in India.

“Even things like sex education is not taught in our education institutions. So it’s absolutely understandable that people are not aware,” he said.

“It’s my duty, the duty of an activist like me, to educate these people about what is the facts,” he said.

Mr Gohil’s palace community centre aims to provide clinical services as well as financial support and skills training for LGBT youth to become financially independent from their families.

http://sambagblog.com/gallery/2018/01/indiaprince9354094-3x2-700x467-640x427.jpghttp://sambagblog.com/gallery/2018/01/indiaprince9354094-3x2-700x467-120x80.jpgsambagGay Issues
The world's only openly gay royal, Indian prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, has made it his personal mission to campaign for reform of India's anti-LGBT laws. Prince Gohil, from the state of Gujarat in western India, first came out in 2006 and recently announced plans to open his palace as a...