Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, the first Indian royal to come out as a gay, is turning his palace into an LGBT community centre. The four-bedroom building will accommodate people from the LGBT community and their allies from across the country.
The prince will be running the centre in association with the charitable organisation Lakshya Trust, which was founded by him in 2006. He is also planning to build more structures on the 15-acre palace grounds to accommodate visitors.
The 52-year-old prince, who was disowned by his family after he came out, wants to empower people with a social security system and financial aid.
"I want to give people social and financial empowerment, so eventually people who want to come out won't be affected. They will have their own social security system. It won't make a difference if they are disinherited," Prince Manvendra told IBTimes UK.
The prince also explained the reason for opening a community centre for LGBT people in the country. He said many of them are unable to come out because they "financially depend on their parents".
"If I could undergo these problems then any other gay person could face a similar situation. In India, we have a family system and we are mentally conditioned to be with our parents. The moment you try to come out you are told you'll be thrown out and society will boycott you. You become a social outcast. A lot of people are financially dependent on their parents," he said.
Manvendra also spoke about the various challenges faced by him while he was undergoing sexual maturity.
"Around the age of 12 or 13, when I was undergoing sexual maturity, I thought I'm attracted to the same sex and not opposite. I knew there was something different about me, but I didn't know why I was feeling different to others. There was a conflict in myself that was different but at the time I didn't realise I was gay," he said.
The prince also said "lack of knowledge" on homosexuality, even among "educated people like my parents, who are both university graduates", is something that should be changed.
"If you read our history and culture, homosexuality has been in the Kama Sutra, and we have temples which have openly depict homoerotic statues and sculptures," he said.
Manvendra even expressed his opinion on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code that bans sexual activities "against the order of nature".
"It has no logic. We have had independence for 70 years and the UK has done away with it and we are continuing with it. When I give lectures at universities I ask people whether they masturbate and they say yes. So I reply well, then this whole classroom is full of criminals," he said.
The prince is planning to take his fight for the LGBT community to across the globe mainly because he believes it is important to win the fight.
"Gay rights are human rights. We won't win this fight if I corner myself to a national level. This has to be global. My mission is to go global and go wherever I'm invited, mainstreaming the cause," he said.