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In 2006, a royal Indian prince revealed a secret so taboo it ripped his family apart, stunned a nation and made international headlines.

Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla was born with a golden spoon in his mouth. "At one time we had almost 22 servants [working] for us. As kids we would call it the 22 man army," he says.

He lived a life of royalty, but the prince says he always felt something was wrong inside. Still, he did all that is expected of a future king and entered into an arranged marriage. "It was a total disaster. A total failure," he says. "The marriage never got consummated. I realized I had done something very wrong."

After his marriage ended, the prince says his world began to unravel. "I was suddenly feeling as if I'm falling apart," he says.

It was the beginning of a nervous breakdown. In 2002, Prince Manvendra was hospitalized. It was then that he says he finally came to terms with his secret. "As I was growing up I was attracted to the male," he says. "Then 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 counseling 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."
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FROM: Gay Around the World
Published on January 01, 2006

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