It is the orange that gets you. It is bright and patterned with small gold pieces tied beautifully on his head. It is then the eyes and the moustache which further brings in the viewer. Then there is the jacket or shirt which looks regal and polished.
But the eye jumps back to the padgi or turban resting on his head. It is a long single cloth and is a symbol of honour and respect. The man wearing it deserves both. He is Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of Rajpipla India the first openly gay Indian prince and a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ community.
The man is not a model and is not western unlike what we see of gay men on TV and film. He has become controversial as his family has disowned him and there are pressures to take away his crown. Yet in the picture, it portrays a sense of confidence and comfort. There is a need to learn more. It is different than watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, Modern Family or watching the Oscar nominated film Moonlight. It’s just more real.
The picture, shot by Kevin Truong is part of the Gay Man Project a website and Instagram feed designed to show gay men from around the world. Trung funded the project himself until having a successful Kickstarter campaign. The collection has over 700 subjects from 37 countries. There are men and couples with different ages, cultures shapes and sizes. They are beautiful and have a story to tell: like the prince in this picture.