QUEER VOICES
10/08/2012 10:29 am ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

LGBT History Month Icon Of The Day: Manvendra Singh Gohil

Perhaps no one knew of Manvendra Singh Gohil, at least in the United States, until he first appeared on Oprah in 2007 and discussed his experiences as India's first openly gay prince.

Gohil was wed to a woman in an arranged marriage ceremony in 1991 but divorced one year later. He came out to his family in his late 30's and in 2006, the prince publicly revealed his sexuality in a local newspaper, something that's never been done in the South Asian country.

In February, Gohil, now 47, told The Huffington Post, "My main purpose coming out openly was that a) I wanted to break the myth that prevails in Indian society that homosexuality is a Western influence; b) that homosexuality only exists in the lower economic status; and c) to improve education about HIV to reduce the stigma."

Gohil continues his advocacy and uses his platform to benefit the LGBT community, frequently speaking at public events and creating Lakshya Trust, an organization that supports Indian sexual minorities.

Each day in October, which is LGBT History Month, we'll be featuring a different LGBT icon. Check back tomorrow for a look at another incredible individual who changed history and visit our LGBT History Month Big News Page for more stories.

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