Thursday, July 5, 2007

Prince of India

So having just engaged in a discussion about how sad it is that we in this country care more about celebrities than actual issues, I went over to check out Perez Hilton. We all have our vices (besides I am in the midst of an US Weekly Pool Supplemental Draft--I need ideas!).

However, something of relative import showed up there: The only son of the King and Queen of India is gay, and was disowned by his family when he came out a year ago. (Please note: I linked the source article instead of Perez Hilton's post. It is more illuminating):

Homosexuality is against the law in India, and can be penalized with ten years to life in jail. Singh Gohil has become both the voice and face of those persecuted for their sexual orientation. Not only has the Prince publicly fallen from grace, but his mother has publicly disowned him, and his place as the next King of Rajpipla was in jeopardy.

* * *
Though his coming out was met with disappointment and outrage, Singh Gohil has adopted a noble cause, educating people about homosexuality and HIV/AIDS prevention.
"I came out in the newspapers openly that I'm gay and basically [because] I wanted to show to the world that even a prince can be gay," he said. "I wanted people to discuss homosexuality, which was always considered a taboo and a stigma… it's been existing in India but no one talked about it."
* * *
"There is a lack of awareness," Manvendra [Singh Gohil] explained. "The purpose of my coming out openly is for a cause, for a good cause, for the control of HIV/AIDS."
Anyway, for those of you who may have followed my politics v. policy discussion on DtB, I assure you that I consider opening minds in a homophobic culture and educating people about HIV and AIDS to be very legitimate foci of public discourse--Prince Singh Gohil's efforts have the potential for positively affecting many and hopefully those effects will outlast him, me and you.


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Anonymous said...

"King and Queen of India" ?? India is not a kingdom! It is a democracy (and has been for 60 years).

India, when it gained independence from the Brits, consisted of 547 different little "kingdoms", collectively known as the "Princely States". After merger into the (then) newly-independent India, they basically lost all powers; as it should be in a democracy.

So this guy is from one little "kingdom" in the western part of India.

Pink Elephant said...

Fair enough anonymous. Thank you for clarifying that this man, although called a prince, and the son of people called a king and queen, has very little actual power--much like almost every other royal family in world.