New Delhi: Ace sprinter Dutee Chand has revealed she is in a same-sex relationship.
The Indian Express, in a front-page report on Sunday, said Dutee, who is India’s fastest female sprinter, has said she was in a relationship with her soulmate who is a girl from her hometown of Chaka Gopalpur in Odisha.
She, however, refused to identify her partner as she did not want to make her the “centre of undue attention”.
“I have found someone who is my soulmate. I believe everyone should have the freedom to be with whoever they decide they want to be with. I have always supported the rights of those who want to be in a same-sex relationship. It is individual person’s choice.
“Currently, my focus is on the world championship and the Olympic Games but in the future, I would like to settle down with her,” Dutee told the newspaper.
She said she has gathered the courage to speak out for the rights of the LGBT community and about her own same-sex relationship after the Supreme Court’s historic decision to decriminalise Section 377 of the Indian Panel Code last year.
This is probably the first time that an Indian sports star has publicly admitted to being in a same-sex relationship. Dutee holds the 100m national record and has won two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games. She is currently training for the world championships, with her eyes set firmly on a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, so she doesn’t have any immediate plans of “settling down.”
Dutee has long been an outspoken voice against eligibility restrictions for women in athletic events, such as testosterone caps.
” I have always believed that everyone should have the freedom to love. There is no greater emotion than love and it should not be denied. The Supreme Court has also struck down the old law. I believe that nobody has the right to judge me as an athlete because of my decision to be with who I want. It is a personal decision which should be respected,” she said.