Oprah Interviews Gay Gujarati Prince

Image from Rediff India Abroad
My friend Jane saw this interview on Oprah and excellently suggested that I write about it.  In the interest of full disclosure, I should reveal that I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Oprah and have recently become a rather avid reader of her magazine O.

Oprah is in the midst of a series called "Living Their Truth" in which she interviews gays and lesbians around the world about their homosexuality and the personal, social, cultural, and religious barriers they face based on their sexual identity.  As a part of the series she interviewed Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla, a member of the Gujarati royalty.  He attempted to live the life expected of him, but once his marriage dissolved he suffered a nervous breakdown.  In 2006 he came out in a newspaper interview.  His mother, in response, took out a newspaper ad publicly disowning him.

His father has, after a time, become more accepting.  And although there was initially some uproar in Rajpipla, most residents value him for the extensive social work he's done for the town.   Prince Manvendra is now focusing his work on awareness of gay issues in India, particularly around HIV prevention.  As he told Oprah, "Why should there be any discrimination on the basis of one's sexuality?  I mean, what have I done wrong that I should be treated in this manner?"

Oprah Article