Words: Steve Brown
India’s Crown Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil has revealed he underwent gay conversion therapy.
The Prince made history by becoming one of the first – if not the first – member of a Royal family around the world to acknowledge his sexuality publicly and runs a charity supporting the LGBTQ community.
Last year, India legalised same-sex marriage and a year on, the Prince has opened up about his own struggles with accepting his sexuality.
He told Business Insider India: “As I was growing up, I was attracted to the same sex but couldn’t understand what’s wrong.”
His family didn’t understand him either and he was taken to counselling and eventually shock therapy to try and convert him.
“I was asked to try everything from being vegetarian to write Ram Ram [the name of Lord Ram] thousand times.
“I was so unaware about the whole thing that I thought probably after I get married, maybe I could become heterosexual.”
His marriage to Princess Chandrika Kumari last only 15 months.
It was during a counselling session that he finally confided in someone about his sexuality and they told him that there is nothing wrong with him.
He continued: “I was getting treatment in the hospital by this psychiatrist and while he was treating me, I came out to him through one of the counselling sessions and he was very, very understanding and he said, ‘There’s nothing wrong with you. You should be proud of your sexuality.’
“And it was he who actually volunteered to tell my parents about myself. It was through him I came out.”