Winner of two silver medals at the Asian Games 2018 and a national record holder, Dutee Chand became the first Indian sportsperson to speak up about her same-sex relationship.
Dutee hails from Chaka Gopapur village in Jaipur district, and is currently training for the World Championship and Tokyo Olympics, which is next year.
“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,” Dutee told The Indian Express.
Dutee added she gained the confidence to speak up about her relationship after the Supreme Court struck down Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, and decriminalised homosexuality.
“The Supreme Court of India has also struck down the old law. I believe 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,” Dutee said.
Her road, though, is uphill as even though her family hasn’t directly objected her relationship, her elder sister has shown strong disapproval and Dutee claims, also threatened to expel her from the family.
“My eldest sister kind of wields power and authority in my family. She has thrown out my elder brother from home because she does not like his wife. She has threatened me that the same will happen to me. But I am also an adult who has individual freedom. So, I decided to go ahead with this and make it public,” Dutee told The Hindu.
Dutee said, another reason that motivated her to disclose her relationship was what sprinter Pinki Pramanik went through when she was accused of raping her live-in partner in 2012.