Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has revealed she is in a same-sex relationship, becoming the first openly gay athlete in the country, according to an interview published on Sunday. Chand, 23, told The Sunday Express she was in a relationship with a woman from her village in eastern Odisha state, saying she got the courage to come out after India’s top court scrapped a colonial-era ban on gay sex last year.
Chand said nobody had the right to judge her as an athlete because of her sexual orientation, which was a personal decision that should be respected.
“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,” she said.
Meanwhile, the revelation doesn’t seem to have gone down well with Chad’s family. “With great sorrow, I have to say that the decision taken by Dutee is not of her own. She’s been pressurised and blackmailed into marriage by that girl and her family. All of this has been done to grab the property and wealth of Dutee,” Saraswati Chand, elder sister of the Asian Games medalist told ANI.
“Dutee’s life and property are in danger. That’s why I request the government to provide protection and security to Dutee,” she added.