The brave prince
When you belong to a royal family, the perks are many. But there are also strict rules and traditions to be followed. The birth of an heir is one such requirement. So what happens when a gay man is prince? Ask Manvendra Singh Gohil—heir to the princely state of Rajpipla in Gujarat.
While growing up, Manvendra was confused about his sexuality, but could never voice it. In fact, he even got married in the 'hope' that his sexual orientation would change. But the marriage ended in divorce.
Although the prince realized his true orientation, his parents were still unaware and pressurized him to get married again. Once they came to know that he was gay, they tried to surgically 'correct' his orientation. Thankfully, the doctor refused, saying it was not a disease. But then began the rounds of spiritual gurus. Obviously, nothing changed.
All this while, Manvendra was becoming more restless and depressed about hiding this fact from the world. Finally, in March 2006, he came out publicly through the media. He made national headlines. All hell broke loose at first, but the world accepted him and applauded his decision to come out. Gradually his parents accepted him too.
Now Manvendra runs an NGO called Lakshya Trust which works for the psychological and physical health of gay men. He has been widely recognized for his work, including an award from UNAIDS and being invited as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show.