While some people would ensure their birthday party revolves around their existence, Indian Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil used his 42nd to celebrate India’s often over-looked gay communities:
A leading figure in India’s small LGBT civil rights movement and a vocal supporter of people living with HIV, Prince Manvendra invited gays and PWAs from all over India to celebrate his birthday at a party that featured gay musicians and artists.
It is the 10th birthday that the prince has celebrated this way, brightening the faces of hundreds of people who regularly suffer from discrimination.
Homosexuality is illegal in India, punishable by imprisonment and people living with HIV/AIDS are frequently shunned by their families.
For the prince the occasion allows people to interact and be visible. The two day party was extensively covered by the Indian media which usually treats gays with derision.
Manvendra’s family originally scorned him for coming out, but tensions have been eased in recent years. Despite their acceptance, the Indian government upholds – but rarely enforces – the colonial era Section 377.