Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, who famously became India’s only openly gay prince in 2006, is hoping to become an even stronger beacon of hope for the country’s LGBT community. The prince wants to turn his palace into a safe haven, a type of community center, for the community. The 15-acre palace grounds will be open to the community and allies in the country where they are often legally marginalized and discriminated against. The prince hopes to open more bedrooms for community members who need a proper place to stay and be safe.
He told IBT:
In India we have a family system and we are mentally conditioned to be with our parents. The moment you try to come out you are told you’ll be thrown out and society will boycott you. You become a social outcast. A lot of people are financially dependent on their parents.
I want to give people social and financial empowerment, so eventually people who want to come out won’t be affected. They will have their own social security system. It won’t make a difference if they are disinherited.