The World's First Openly Gay Prince Fights for Equal Rights in India
Season 5 Episode 506
Aired on 05/09/2015
In 2007, Oprah met the crown prince of one of India's oldest royal families. Prince Manvendra had stepped out of the closet and into a firestorm of controversy when he announced to the world he was gay. His community was outraged, and his own mother took an ad out in the paper publicly disowning her son.
When the prince returned to the Oprah Show
three years later, a lot had changed. At that time, India had revoked the law that made homosexual acts punishable by 10 years to life in prison. "I never expected that this will happen in my lifetime," he said.
In recent years, however, Prince Manvendra says the gay rights movement in India has faced many challenges. "[Oprah] did a high five with me because our law had changed, and unfortunately, now that has got reversed. We've gone back to square one," he says. "That period of four, four and a half years when we had enjoyed our freedom has been suddenly snatched away from us."
In 2014, Prince Manvendra launched Free Gay India, a grassroots campaign to raise awareness about India's anti-gay laws. "When I say that the homosexuals are not free in India, we don't have the freedom to love," he says.
Watch as Prince Manvendra shares more about his fight for equal rights and his current relationship with his mother.
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