New Delhi: Sprinter and 100m record holder and winner of two Asian Games silver medals Dutee Chand, 23, revealed Sunday that she is in a same-sex relationship with a girl from her hometown Chawk Gopalpur in Jajpur district. Dutee is the first Indian sportsperson to admit to being in a same-sex relationship.
In a conversation with reporters, Dutee revealed that she has been in a relationship with the girl for the past three years. While the couple had not thought of it as a long-term affair, the 2018 Supreme Court verdict that decriminalised same-sex relationships between consenting adults provided the impetus for them to arrive at a decision of spending their lives with each other.
“When the Supreme Court ruling came on Section 377 of IPC, then we decided that there is no harm in spending our lives together. We decided that we will get married and have a small family for ourselves,” Dutee said.
“She is from my town and a sports fan herself. She read about the struggles that I have gone through to make a career in sports and she told me that she was inspired by my story. That is how we came in touch with each other,” informed Dutee.
While she does not want to reveal the name of her partner, Dutee said her decision to make the information public was based on her belief that she has the right to live her life the way she wants it.
“What we are doing is no crime. It is our life and we have the right to live it the way we deem right. I am in the public eye now because I am playing for the country but I will still have a lot of life left to live once I leave sports,” asserted Dutee.
Dutee said her partner has been a valuable support for her over the past two years. “She has not been able to come with me for the big events but she always prays for me when I am playing. We never really get to spend too much time with each other but she is very supportive of me in my endeavours,” Dutee said.
The ace sprinter said she is yet to tell her parents about her relationship. She is confident that they would accept it. “I have been representing my country for a long time now and they are happy with whatever I have done so far. Hopefully, they will understand this too,” Dutee said.
Dutee is currently training in Hyderabad to qualify for the World Championships and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.