Dear Dutee Chand,
It is really a wonder how people consider it to be okay to typecast love as something which can only exist between just a man and a woman. These are the same people who believe that ‘love has no meaning’ but choose to restrict it to their one-dimensional thought process.
In a socially conservative country like India, you have paved a path for yourself and all those who are always in search of a way to express themselves. I commend you for finally letting the world know about the real you. Young boys and girls in India need more role models like you – or as prominent Indian LGBT+ rights activist Harish Iyer aptly puts it as “beacon of hope” – who believe in embracing the truth. This is truly a ground-breaking moment in India and Indian sports.
Your professional graph speaks volumes about you as an incredible sprinter – from being the current national champion in women’s 100 meters event to bagging two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games. As for you in your personal life, my respect for you has grown tenfolds. It must have not been easy growing up in a below poverty line weaver’s family. But you braved the odds and made the circumstances work in your favour with utmost determination and hard work.
“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.”
To those in power who question your athletic capabilities on the basis on your sexual orientation and to the family and friends who object your relationship, I’ll say – you will never win. Criticize all that you want to but there is not a force in the world that can deter people like Dutee to accept their true selves. India is changing its attitude towards things – may be at a slow pace but a change for the good is inevitable.
Dutee Chand, thank you.