By Nell Frizzell • June 22, 2009 – 17:17
Crossposted from pinknews.co.uk
Find the original article here :
Prince Manvendrasinh Gohil opened this year’s Sao Paulo Pride
An Indian prince who had been disowned by his family because of his sexuality inaugurated the Gay Pride Parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil, earlier this month.
Prince Manvendrasinh Gohil, who is from Rajpipla in Gujarat, was the only Indian person to have been formally invited to this year’s event.
“Every person present in the crowd was cheering for India the moment they saw me. It was a very special moment for me. People there are curious to know more about India,” said Gohil.
The Sao Paulo Pride was held from June 10th -14th and attracted over three million people.
“It was unbelievable to see such a huge gathering,” Gohil told the Indian newspaper DNA. “And the parade was not the only thing. I inaugurated an office, an art exhibition and even released a book on homosexuality authored by the mother of a gay son. I was even made to dance with Samba dancers. The experience was terrific.”
The 43-year-old prince was denounced in 2006 after publicly announcing his sexuality. Consequently, all his rights as the son and heir to the Rajpipla fortune have been revoked.
Homosexuality is still, according to the Indian Penal Code, considered a criminal offence and can carry a life sentence.
“I will study the norms that helped in making homosexuality legal in Brazil. I will try to incorporate them in our efforts to make homosexuality legal in India,” said the prince on his return to India.
Royal portrait of Manvendra Singh Gohil
Manvendra Singh Raghubir Singh (known as ‘Manvendra Singh Gohil’, ‘Manvendrasingh Gohil’, or ‘Manvendra Gohil’) (* 23 September 1965 in Ajmer) is a Hindu belonging to the royal family of the former princely state of Rajpipla in India.
He was disinherited after revealing his gay sexuality, and since then there has been a question mark over his relations with the family. He is the only known person of former royal lineage in modern India to have publicly revealed he is gay.
In January 2008, while performing an annual ceremony in Rajpipla in honour of his great-grandfather Maharaja Vijaysinhji, Manvendra Gohil announced plans to adopt a child from within the Rajpipla family, saying: “I have carried out all my responsibilities as the prince so far and will continue as long as I can. I will also adopt a child soon so that all traditions continue”. If the adoption proceeds, it will be the first known case of a single gay man adopting a child in India. In June, 2009, at São Paulo, he told: “Adopting a child is easy in India, and there is no problem because of being openly gay. I hope to be with my son soon after the return of Brazil”.