World’s first openly gay prince endured shock therapy to ‘cure’ his sexuality
Manvendra Singh Gohil, the first openly gay prince in the world, has revealed that his parents subjected him to shock therapy in an attempt to ‘cure’ him of his sexuality.
Gohil, the son of the Maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat, told Business Insider India that his parents also forced him to have counselling – and even enquired about surgery – in a bid to ensure that he was heterosexual.
“As I was growing up, I was attracted to the same sex but couldn’t understand what’s wrong,” said the 53-year-old royal.
My parents tried to ‘cure’ me of sexuality, says world’s first openly gay prince.
Gohil, who came out as gay in 2006 to regional paper Divya Bhaskar, and later to the world on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2007, added that his parents at one point tried to blackmail him.
“If you don’t follow what they say they will emotionally blackmail you by saying: ‘We will jump in the nearby well,'” he said.
The prince was speaking out to mark the first anniversary of the decriminalisation of same-sex sexual activity by the Supreme Court in India in September last year.
If you don’t follow what they say they will emotionally blackmail you by saying: ‘We will jump in the nearby well.’
Gohil, who runs LGBT+ charity The Lakshya Trust, said that measures taken by his parents to try and ‘cure’ him left him in a state of confusion.
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“I was so unaware about the whole thing that I thought probably after I get married maybe I could become a heterosexual,” he said of his 15 month arranged marriage.
Manvendra Singh Gohil speaks out to mark first anniversary of decriminalisation of gay sex in India.
Despite the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India, studies suggest LGBT+ people still feel a huge social stigma around coming out the closet.
In October last year, research by LGBT+ social networking site Romeo that half of the 3,392 gay, bisexual and transgender Indian men who participated in its survey are still not out to their families and friends.
It also revealed that more than 40 percent did not plan on telling anyone that they are gay.
One third of respondents said they are married to a woman.
Of the married individuals, a startling proportion – more than 70 percent – said they do not plan to come out as gay.