India's only openly gay prince has announced plans to open up his ancestral palace to Indians who have been ostracized for their sexuality or gender identity.
Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil — likely heir to the throne of Rajpipla in the western state of Gujarat — says his center will help provide vulnerable LGBTQ people with the security that typically comes from one's family.
"I want to give people social and financial empowerment, so eventually people who want to come out won't be affected [negatively]," he told the International Business Times. "It won't make a difference if they are disinherited."
After Gohil's coming out made international headlines in 2006, his mother took out a newspaper advertisement publicly disowning him. People burned his effigies in Rajpipla.
"People still face a lot of pressure from their families when they come out, being forced to marry, or thrown out of their homes," Gohil told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "They often have nowhere to go, no means to support themselves."