Fea­ture

Esquire (Singapore) - - Style -

that are avail­able for lodg­ing. “[A] trans­gen­der woman of In­dian ori­gin from New Jersey ap­proached me; she didn’t feel se­cure stay­ing in the US be­cause of the Trump govern­ment and had faced a lot of abuse. Her mother came with her but her fa­ther was against her sex re­as­sign­ment surgery. When he also wanted to come to the cen­tre, I said he was wel­come but didn’t want any con­flict, es­pe­cially if he’s ho­mo­pho­bic. Once he saw that she’s liv­ing with a prince in a royal es­tab­lish­ment, he be­came more ac­cept­ing of her. To en­ter a royal prop­erty is not per­mit­ted for com­mon­ers and here his daugh­ter was liv­ing with us and en­joy­ing the fa­cil­i­ties.” Go­hil re­ports that the fa­ther and daugh­ter now share an am­i­ca­ble re­la­tion­ship.

It’s one of the many in­stances where Go­hil has dipped his iron­clad toes in the in­ter­na­tional LGBTQ spec­trum. On Justin Trudeau’s re­cent In­dia visit, Go­hil spoke to him about sup­port­ing the Indo-Cana­dian sex­ual mi­nori­ties and the lib­eral prime min­is­ter in­stantly put him in touch with the nec­es­sary au­thor­i­ties. “I get a lot of cri­sis calls from across the globe where peo­ple have been sub­jected to black­mail­ing, abuse, mar­riage pres­sures and I do a lot of coun­selling. That takes up most of my time.”

What­ever’s left is ded­i­cated to his po­si­tion as the In­dian am­bas­sador for the AIDS Healthcare Foun­da­tion—the world’s old­est and largest or­gan­i­sa­tion for HIV test­ing and treat­ment. “I’m do­ing a lot of TED talks [and] the more I do them, the more I can help change [so­ci­ety’s mind­set].” In ad­di­tion to that, he does paid public ap­pear­ances and all the pro­ceeds go back in to de­vel­op­ing the cen­tre.

He draws up an anal­ogy to the free­dom fighter Bha­gat Singh, an In­dian na­tion­al­ist con­sid­ered to be one of the most in­flu­en­tial rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies of the in­de­pen­dence move­ment. His method of work­ing, ac­cord­ing to Go­hil, is akin to Ma­hatma Gandhi’s mo­dus operandi, that is to use hon­esty, trans­parency and non-vi­o­lence to gain free­dom. Only in Go­hil’s case, it’s free­dom from hypocrisy.

“[A] trans­gen­der woman of In­dian ori­gin from New Jersey ap­proached me; she didn’t feel se­cure stay­ing in the US be­cause of the Trump govern­ment and had faced a lot of abuse. Her mother came with her but her fa­ther was against her sex re­as­sign­ment surgery. When he also wanted to come to the cen­tre, I said he was wel­come but didn’t want any con­flict, es­pe­cially if he’s ho­mo­pho­bic. Once he saw that she’s liv­ing with a prince in a royal es­tab­lish­ment, he be­came more ac­cept­ing of her.”

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