Ace sprinter Dutee Chand has come out open on being in a same-sex relationship with her ‘soulmate.’ She is the current 100 metres national champion and has won several accolades for the country at the highest level.
The 23-year-old, who bagged two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games said she has always supported the rights of the people who want to be in a same-sex relationship. Dutee revealed that she is in a relationship with a girl from her hometown Chaka Gopalpur in Odisha without revealing the identity of her partner to avoid “undue attention.”
“I have found someone who is my soulmate,” Chand was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “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,” she added.
The 23-year-old said that it was after the Supreme Court’s historic decision to decriminalise Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code last year that she got the confidence to speak about her relationship. “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.
In September last year, the Supreme Court had decriminalised the 125-year-old British era law regarding same-sex relation between consenting adults. India, however, does not recognise LGBT marriages.
(With Agency Inputs)