Gay Prince Opens His Palace Doors For LGBT People In Need. Oprah Tells Us Where He Is Today
LGBT people are taking refuge at Indian Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil’s palace.
In India, homosexuality remains a big taboo and sex between people of the same gender is highly illegal. Section 377 of the country’s penal code forbids sexual activity that is “against the order of nature.” In the past, people from the LGBT community have gotten in trouble based on the interpretation of this law.
Since being LGBT doesn’t fit the traditional cultural norms of India, many people who come out are disowned by their families. Prince Manvendra hopes that his palace can be a place where these people can go so they are not left with nothing.
“If I could undergo these problems then any other gay person could face a similar situation,” he said.
“In India, we have a family system and we are mentally conditioned to be with our parents. The moment you try to come out you are told you will be thrown out and society will boycott you. You become a social outcast. A lot of people are financially dependent on their parents.”
“I want to give people social and financial empowerment, so eventually people who want to come out won’t be affected. They will have their own social security system. It won’t make a difference if they are disinherited,” he continued.
The prince was forced into a marriage in 1991, which he has since described as a “total disaster” that ended in a divorce one year later. His coming out was breaking news as it was unprecedented in his country. One of Manvendra’s goals as a prince is to be an activist for the LGBT community in his country. His activism has had impacts beyond his homeland as he was a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007
Prince Manvendra is truly putting his money where his mouth is as he has opened up his palace with the goal of making life easier for those who are LGBT.