Meet Prince Manvendra, India’s First Gay Royal

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India’s first openly homosexual royal figure is Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil. When the revelation of the prince’s sexual inclination became public in 2006, it sparked heated debate. People in his hometown burnt his effigies, while others hailed him for his bravery. Oprah Winfrey asked him into her show for a piece called “Gay Around the World” to talk about his experience.

Manvendra has been an outspoken advocate for India’s LGBTQ+ community. Here are some interesting facts about him.

Throughout history, there have been a number of LGBT figures. Alexander the Great, King Hyegong, Abraham Lincoln, and Queen Anne, as portrayed in The Favorite. Prince Manvendra, on the other hand, was the first to openly discuss his sexuality, going against every royal protocol and etiquette. His parents were taken aback. His mother advertised his disownment in the local paper. “I wasn’t surprised,” the prince admitted to Oprah. “I can’t say I blame her. I blame her for her ignorance.” Their reconciliation took over a decade.

In 1991, the prince married Chandrika Kumari in an arranged marriage. That was the way things were done back then, royal or not, and he was under a lot of pressure to perpetuate the families’ lineage. “Parents [would] blackmail their children and compel them to marry the opposite sex only for the sake of pressure,” the prince remarked. “I’ve heard from members of the community that their mothers have threatened to murder themselves if they come out as LGBT. They are pressed to marry because they do not want their mother to leap into a well.”

The wedding was completed. The couple split a year later, and the prince fell into a deep melancholy, eventually having a mental collapse in 2002. After considerable self-acceptance work, he is now living his truth.

In 2011 and 2014, the prince appeared on Oprah twice more to discuss his advocacy activities. He also made an appearance on the reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Kendall Jenner met the prince while shooting for Vogue India, and the two became fast friends. After her father came out as transgender, Jenner felt a connection with the prince. As a result, she asked him into the show to tell his riveting story.

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