LOS ANGELES: Crown Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, India’s first openly gay prince, recently led AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) patients, staff and volunteers, who marched alongside the LGBTQ community at the Los Angeles Pride Parade.
A strong advocate for LGBT rights as well as HIV/AIDS education and prevention, Prince Manvendra Singh faced outrage when he came out to a country, where “homosexual acts” are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
He now supports LGBT individuals in India through his community-based organization, The Lakshya Trust. The weekend event was Prince’s first gay pride in the U.S. - he previously opened gay pride in Stockholm in 2008 and in São Paulo in 2009.
“AIDS Healthcare Foundation is honored to march alongside Prince Manvendra and the LGBTQ community in its hometown of Los Angeles this weekend,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “AHF continues to stand with LGBTQ individuals around the globe in advocating for equal rights, fighting discrimination and ensuring access to healthcare.”
Manvendra led AHF’s newly updated Pride bus in the parade. The bus was wrapped with a rainbow of smiling faces, representing the diversity within the LGBTQ community. The “One Comm(unity), One Love” slogan communicates the sense of strength and unity among LGBTQ individuals, especially in the face of the HIV/AIDS virus that disproportionately affects their community.
The parade started on Sunday, June 12, 2016 and was directed westward along Santa Monica Blvd from Crescent Heights Blvd to Robertson Blvd.
Throughout Pride weekend, AHF offered free HIV tests from its mobile testing unit located at northeast corner of Santa Monica Blvd and San Vicente Blvd. AHF’s Out of the Closet Thrift Store on Santa Monica Blvd. also provided free HIV testing during business hours.