Crown Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil launched a university module in India on the LGBTI community this week.
‘Educating students about the LGBTQ community will help sensitize them to the invisible sexual minority,’ the prince told the India Times.
Importantly, it is thought to be the first academic LGBTI module at a South Asian university.
The world’s first openly gay prince introduced the course on Tuesday (August 28). It is titled ‘Proclivity of Gender: Socio-legal approach to LGBTQ Community’
Students of Law and Liberal Studies students at Karnavati University in the western State of Gujurat will all study the course.
Also, more than 60 other participants from across India, including high school students, will participate.
Manvendra is the 39th direct descendant of the 650-year-old Gohil Dynasty Of Rajpipla in Gujarat State in western India. So, he is the most likely heir to Maharaja of Rajpipla.
After coming out as gay in 2006, the prince set up the advocacy organization, Lakshya trust, and in 2017 promised to open an LGBTI center on his palace grounds.
Educating students about India’s ‘invisible minority’
The course will include teaching on the community’s legal rights and the history of the LGBTI rights movement in India.
‘We will present facts about the community that are backed by evidence and reasoning to the students to make them understand various aspects of the LGBT community,’ said Manvendra.
Furthermore, it will also explore Article 377 of India’s Penal Code, a colonial-era law criminalizing same-sex sexual intercourse.
However, country’s Supreme Court is currently considering overturning the law.
The course will also foster greater social acceptance of the third gender, the prince told the India times.
The prince’s module will also cover mental and physical health, including HIV and AIDS.
Most importantly, the course hopes to tackle rampant stigma in India. LGBTI people regularly face discrimination from families, in education, housing, and healthcare.
The community also often faces violent harassment and abuse.
A famous college in southern India introduced studies in ‘gender queer and intersex’ into its literature curriculum this week.
The American College in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, will teach about 58 different gender identities, the Times of India reported this weekend.
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