Indian prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, 54, has joined global calls for an end to conversion therapy after it became known that he was a victim. Conversion therapy, the essence of which is to change a person’s sexual orientation from homosexual (or bisexual) to heterosexual, is legal in India and is widely practiced there. This experience greatly traumatized the prince, and now he wants to make it illegal.
Gohil is the first prince in India to publicly admit his homosexuality. He runs a self-financing LGBT charity. When he first revealed that he was gay to his parents, they did not support him.
‘The first thing they tried to do was remake me. They wouldn’t accept me as a gay child.’ – he admitted in an interview with Forbes.
Then, at their suggestion, the prince underwent conversion therapy. Her methods include methods ranging from prayer to torture. In the prince’s case, electroshock treatment was also used.
‘They tried to ask doctors to operate on me. They took me to the religious leaders to ask them to heal me,’ – Gohil shared.
The problem, he said, is that many Indian parents view LGBTQ children as socially stigmatized in a stratified Indian society.
‘Indian parents are afraid of relatives and neighbors. I always say that it is always easier for representatives of the LGBTQ community to confess to their parents than it is for parents to tell everyone about such children,’ – he says.