In a country that is known for its cultural and traditional norms, strictly limited to stereotypes that somehow define our society, for someone to come out and break these chains is often considered heroic.
Even in the sports world, major athletes are also known to have broken past societal norms. The latest to join the wagon is India’s star sprinter Dutee Chand, who openly acknowledged to being in a same-sex relationship with her soulmate.
The 100 m record holder and winner of two silver medals at the Asian Games becomes the first Indian sports star to acknowledge being in a same-sex relationship.
Dutee said that she has found love in a partner, a girl from her hometown and has known her for a few years. The 23-year-old record holder refused to reveal the identity of her partner as she did not want her to be in a storm of unwanted attention.
Due to her busy schedule preparing for the upcoming qualifiers for the World Championships and the Tokyo Olympics next year, any plans of formalizing the relationship have been halted.
Dutee told The Sunday Express, “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 an individual person’s choice. Currently, my focus is on the World Championships and the Olympic Games but in the future I would like to settle down with her,”
Dutee also mentioned that the historic moment when the supreme court decriminalized Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code a while ago gave her the courage to speak out for the rights of the LGBTQ community.
Certainly in a cloud of attention right now, Dutee has become the first Indian Sports star to ever acknowledge being in a same-sex relationship, a substantial moment for sports in India.