India’s first openly gay prince, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil has opened up about the extreme steps his parents took in order to “convert” him.
In an interview with Sky News, the 57-year-old prince, who is the 39th direct descendant of India’s Gohil Rajput dynasty, revealed that his parents sought out avenues to “perform a surgery on his brain” and subjected him to electroshock therapy.
“It was an absolute case of discrimination and violation of human rights. Whether I’m a prince or not a prince, parents have no right to put their children through [this] kind of torture,” Prince Manvendra said.
The prince claimed that his parents’ attempts were thwarted by doctors who refused to perform the procedure.
“Fortunately for me and fortunately for them, the American Psychiatric Association had said that homosexuality is not a mental disorder, so they were not successful,” Prince Manvendra said.
Nevertheless, he said that he suffered severe “embarrassment” and “humiliation” while enduring the “pain and suffering” of his parents’ attempts to “change” his sexual orientation.
“It didn’t happen but imagine how much harassment one has to go through, how much humiliation one has to go through, just to endure this pain and suffering at the hands of parents – and this is happening to so many individuals in India,” he said.
“It is a lack of education, lack of awareness which causes people to be homophobic and bigoted… It’s our duty to educate them and to make them aware about the facts.”
Before coming out at the age of 41, Prince Manvendra had a short-lived arranged marriage with a woman.
He married his husband Duke DeAndre Richardson in 2013.