Manvendra Singh Gohil, the first openly gay Indian prince, spoke about his experience coming out to himself, his family, and the public in a video for Come Out Loud, an organization that aspires “to provide a platform for the LGBT community to come together and unite.”
Singh — who gained international prominence after speaking about his sexuality on Oprah in 2007 — describes his long journey from experimenting with his sexuality with his servant as a boy to getting married to a princess in 1991, which made him realize he was not sexually attracted to women. He also tells the story of coming out to the public in 2006, which shocked his parents because “they never knew that this royal secret which was within the closed doors of the palace …would one day be revealed.”
Under pressure from the rest of the royal family, Singh’s parents publicly disowned and disinherited him three months after news of his sexuality broke. But after he traveled the world to tell his story, his parents reversed their decision and accepted him back into the family.
The prince works as an activist fighting to decriminalize homosexuality in India. At the end of the video he says, “[Homosexuality] is nothing about being masculine or feminine … My simple message to the society is that we are all human beings, we are all equal, and we should be treated equally with others [and] given our rights.”