He is no longer part of the dynasty - after his coming out his family disinherited him - but Gohil still makes use of his status as 'prince'. He is fighting conversion therapy and has converted one of his estates into a home for rejected LGBT+ people, just as he was once rejected by his family.
Gohil himself came out publicly in 2006, when he was 41 years old. The shock in conservative India was great. Homosexuality was still illegal at the time. “The day I came out, my effigies were burned. There were many protests, people took to the streets and shouted that I was shaming and humiliating the royal family and culture of India. There were death threats and demands that I should be stripped of my title,” Gohil told Insider.
He came out to his parents in 2002, after which they sent him to conversion therapy. They tried to change his sexual orientation by means of, among other things, electric shocks. Spiritual treatments were also attempted, but nothing worked. When his parents gave up, Insider writes, Gohil had fallen into a depression. “My parents thought it was impossible for me to be gay because my cultural upbringing had been so rich. They had no idea that there is no connection between a person's sexuality and their upbringing.”
After his eventual coming-out, the prince feels freer. He now has a male partner and is an activist for LGBT+ rights in the conservative country. Conversion therapy is a widely used tool in India in an attempt to “change” a person after coming out. Only one state has banned the therapy, which happened last year.
Homosexuality has only been legal in India since 2018, when the Supreme Court ruled that the ban violated the constitution. According to the prince, the battle does not end there, he wants to fight alongside the ban on conversion therapy for more social acceptance in India and issues such as same-sex marriage and the right to adoption.