• India's first openly gay prince, Manvendra Singh Gohil. (YouTube)Source: YouTube
Gay Indian prince Manvendra Singh Gohil has discussed the difficulties he faced coming to terms with his sexuality in a conservative royal family and next to no communication with the outside world.
By
Drew Sheldrick

14 Mar 2016 - 11:23 AM  UPDATED 14 Mar 2016 - 11:23 AM

India's first openly gay prince, Manvendra Singh Gohil, has recorded a video discussing his experience coming to terms with his sexuality in a country which still criminalises gay sex.

Gohil, who is the prince of Rajpipla in Gujarat, made the video with Come Out Loud, an online platform looking at sexual diversity in countries yet to embrace LGBTQI rights.

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"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,” Gohil explained.

“Being brought up with servants and not many friends… no internet… it was a very confusing state.”

The 40-year-old first garnered international attention after speaking to Oprah Winfrey about being gay in an episode of her talkshow in 2007. He opened up about being formerly married to a princess and being disowned by his royal family.

Gohil now works to end discrimination against same-sex attracted people in India. In 2013, the country's Supreme Court reinstated a ban on gay sex which could see gay men jailed for up to 10 years. The decision reversed a 2009 ruling by a lower court that decriminalised gay sex.

"We're all human beings. We should be treated equally and be given the rights which we have been denied," Gohil says at the conclusion of his video.

"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."

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