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Gay Indian Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil to Appear on Oprah

Indian Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, who was disowned by his family in 2006 after coming out to them, has reportedly been invited by Oprah to appear on her talk show later this month.

GohilHomosexuality is still illegal in India. Gohil puts on a festival at his pink palace every year for gays, to promote the arts and awareness about HIV and AIDS, Reuters reports:

"Gohil, who descends from the royal rulers of Rajpipla, a small town in the western state of Gujarat, was publicly disowned by his family after talking about his sexuality with the media. India abolished princely kingdoms after independence from Britain in 1947, but many formerly royal families continue to lead lavish lives in sprawling palaces and use their old titles. 'I had to deal with opposition from my family and locals of Rajpipla who felt I was involved in activities that are unsuitable in society,' he said. Rajpipla is a very conservative, sleepy town, where women cover their heads and lower their gaze before men."

When he came out in 2006, Gohil said: "I knew that they would never accept me for who I truly am, but I also knew that I could no longer live a lie. I wanted to come out because I had gotten involved with activism and I felt it was no longer right to live in the closet. I came out as gay to a Gujarati daily because I wanted people to openly discuss homosexuality since it's a hidden affair with a lot of stigma attached."

Gohil's festival included not only gay people, but "socialites" and "curious villagers" interested in mingling. Said Gohil: "Gays are talented, creative, imagine a world without us. I was born gay with some talent and skills, this festival is for people like me."

Imagine a world without gays, says gay Indian prince [reuters]

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Comments

  1. Namaste Prince Manvendra. Namaste.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 9, 2007 9:37:48 AM


  2. Just think, if it weren't for Muslim invaders and British Christian Missionaries, this royal wouldn't have to go through this shit.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 9, 2007 10:05:51 AM


  3. Derrick, You are completely mistaken. Colonial rule only reinforced the already rigid class structure in India. Homosexuals in India under the still prevalent class hierarchy were/are assigned the status of "non-existant," lower than the untouchables. On the issue of homosexuality, the Muslims only made explicit what was implicit in Hindu culture. That said, Colonialism and the rise of Muslim theocracy has surely had many negative effects. Your "but for" generalization, however, is utterly false. I join Zeke in extending Namaste.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 9, 2007 10:50:57 AM


  4. Rudy: I'm not going to dispute you, 'cause I'm no expert on Indian culture or history. But what about the hijras? What was their status in ancient Hindu culture? I realize that they may be considered more "transgendered" than homosexual, but for many indigenous communities, that was the only type of homosexuality that was permitted (or recognized).

    Maybe I'm part of the bandwagon against Judeo-Christian & Islamic "hypocrisy and sexual oppression" conntaminating the native people of Asia, African, and the Americas. I read that the hijras of India sure believe their status wasn't helped by the intrusion of Islamic and Christian Missionary influence. It seems once other cultures are conquerered and dominated by those two religions, that's when they turn on their homos.

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Oct 9, 2007 11:22:00 AM


  5. However, temples and art work depict homosexual acts of love. Vedism was more inclusive than its dogmatic, extremely constraining descendant, Hinduism.

    Posted by: Eto | Oct 9, 2007 12:34:35 PM


  6. In ancient Vedic society, prior to Muslim invaders and British colonizers, "third-gendered" people actually had a place and purpose. "Third-gendered" people (LGBT) are discussed and categorized in the Hindu scripture Kama Shastra. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, all are discussed, and categorized, including the roles they play and their contribution to society. Fascinating. For those interested, read the book: "Tritiya Prakriti: People of the Third Sex" by Amara das Wilhelm.
    Therefore, Derrick is not completely mistaken, and his 'but for' generalization, although a generalization, is not utterly false.

    Posted by: Nayan Ananda from SF | Oct 9, 2007 1:02:52 PM


  7. I appreciate the imput from Nayan Ananda, ETO, and Rudy. I've spent the last two hours reading about ancient India and Indian sexuality in the Hindu, Vedic, Aryan ages(what else do you on your computer at work). Very, very interesting. As NAYAN ANANDA said, I wasn't all wrong, but I over-simplified India's history, and I over exaggerated the effects of Islamic/Christian oppression on India's homosexuals. As Rudy pointed out, homosexuals (of any kind) weren't fully accepted by the Hindus either. So, you learn something from these blogs everyday...well almost everyday.

    Funny, though, the negative steretypes Indians use against hijras are the exact same criticisms used here against our drag queens. Then people wonder why drag queens(whether Asian, African, European or Eskimo) are such rough bitches.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 9, 2007 1:28:52 PM


  8. Nayan, you beat me to the punch but you stated the case much better than I would have anyway.

    Though DERRICK's comment may have been a bit of an overreach in scope, the premise of his statement is largely true.

    Most of the laws in India that forbid homosexuality (male) are left over prohibitions from Victorian colonial rule.

    Posted by: Zeke | Oct 9, 2007 2:03:43 PM


  9. The irony of claiming to be "conservative" when you possess so many lavish items. Nothing conservative about being "royalty".

    Posted by: Brandon | Oct 9, 2007 3:40:40 PM


  10. Derrick,

    do you have a job? just wondering. I would love to have two hours to spare to read about Indian history....

    Posted by: loo | Oct 9, 2007 11:56:08 PM


  11. LOO: You wouldn't love to get my paycheck. I keep wondering when my employer's computer services department is going to do a crack down on employees who abuse Internet access. So far, nada.

    Can one become addicted to the blogs? Not if your unemployed, fool (sometimes I answer my own quesions)--it's senility, it started at about age ten).

    Well, now, back to the Internet to study gay history ...this time, ancient China!

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Oct 11, 2007 11:04:09 AM


  12. I am a business man in Delhi. I have grown up kids and wife. But I am interested in having sex with MEN since I was 18.
    This is the way I keep it up with existing family not letting them know about what I do outside.
    But it would be far better if every one in indian culture would have an open mind baout it.
    I wasn't agreed to get married but my parents forced into it.

    www.artek.co.in

    Anil Gupta
    Director

    Posted by: Anil Gupta | Oct 23, 2007 5:10:43 AM


  13. I am a business man in Delhi. I have grown up kids and wife. But I am interested in having sex with MEN since I was 18.
    This is the way I keep it up with existing family not letting them know about what I do outside.
    But it would be far better if every one in indian culture would have an open mind baout it.
    I wasn't agreed to get married but my parents forced into it.

    www.artek.co.in

    Anil Gupta
    Director

    Posted by: Anil Gupta | Oct 23, 2007 5:11:31 AM


  14. I had not heard about this!! I am so late. But I'm proud of this Prince! How very brave! It's a shame that India's most handsome men must stay in the closet. Love should be celebrated in its truest forms... not forced or coerced in a false fashion.
    I wish I could find a beautiful, gay, Indian prince to fall in love with... but he's married probably.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jan 1, 2008 3:02:39 PM


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