An Indian prince who had been disowned by his family because of his sexuality inaugurated the Gay Pride Parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, earlier this month.
Prince Manvendrasinh Gohil, who is from Rajpipla in Gujarat, was the only Indian person to have been formally invited to this year’s event.
“Every person present in the crowd was cheering for India the moment they saw me. It was a very special moment for me. People there are curious to know more about India,” said Gohil.
The Sao Paulo Pride was held from June 10th -14th and attracted over three million people.
“It was unbelievable to see such a huge gathering,” Gohil told the Indian newspaper DNA. “And the parade was not the only thing. I inaugurated an office, an art exhibition and even released a book on homosexuality authored by the mother of a gay son. I was even made to dance with Samba dancers. The experience was terrific.”
The 43-year-old prince was denounced in 2006 after publicly announcing his sexuality. Consequently, all his rights as the son and heir to the Rajpipla fortune have been revoked.
Homosexuality is still, according to the Indian Penal Code, considered a criminal offence and can carry a life sentence.
“I will study the norms that helped in making homosexuality legal in Brazil. I will try to incorporate them in our efforts to make homosexuality legal in India,” said the prince on his return to India.