India’s first openly gay prince, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, recently revealed how his parents sought medical help in order to change his sexuality. In an interview with SkyNews, Mr Gohil, the heir of the Maharaja of Rajpipla in Gujarat, spoke about the extreme measures his mother and father attempted in order to “convert” him when he told them he was gay. He said he felt humiliated when his parents tried to make him undergo brain surgery and electroshock therapy just to make him straight.
Speaking to the outlet, Mr Gohil, who is also one of India’s foremost LGBT activists, described his own parents’ attempt to “convert” him. “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,” he said.
Mr Gohil claimed that his parents visited doctors in the hope they could “perform a surgery on my brain, and even make me undergo electroshock therapy”. However, as his parents planned for him to receive the treatments in the United States – where conversion therapy has been widely discredited – he was ultimately able to avoid being subjected to such practices.
“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,” Mr Gohil added.
Nevertheless, the Prince said that he suffered severe “embarrassment” and “humiliation” while enduring the “pain and suffering” of his parents’ futile 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,” Mr Gohil said.
According to SkyNews, Mr Gohil has now launched a legal battle at the Supreme Court as well to try to get conversion therapy banned outright by law.
Notably, the prince made headlines in 2006 when he publicly announced he was gay. He is the founder of the Lakysha Trust, an LGBTQ+ charity based in the Indian state of Gujarat. He has made numerous international appearances, including on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
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