Olympian Dutee Chand becomes India’s first sports person to come out as openly gay

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand revealed that she is busy training for the Tokyo Olympics and that she hoped to settle down with her ‘soulmate’ in future.

Dutee spoke to The Sunday Express about her relationship, career plans and eventually settling down with the woman she loves.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

However, the 2018 Asian Games double silver medalist didn’t reveal the identity of her partner in an attempt to safeguard her from being “the centre of undue attention”, in a country that is still getting used to the decriminalization of homosexuality.

“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 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. I will continue to strive to win medals for India at international meets,” she opined.

Dutee, who is currently training hard to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and World Championships next year, also mentioned that it is really important her partner has been a pillar of support to her running career so far.

“I wanted to be with someone who will encourage me to continue being a sportsperson. I have been a sprinter for the past 10 years and I will perhaps continue to run for the next five to seven years.

“I travel around the world to compete. It is not easy. Mujhe kisi ka sahara bhi chahiye (I need someone who can offer me personal support),” she said.