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Indian Sprinter Dutee Chand’s Coming-out Receives Great Attention
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of May 28, 2019) Dutee Chand (23 years), double medalist at the 2018 Asian Games and India’s record holder in the 100-metre race, came out as a lesbian on May 19. This makes it the first major sporting icon in India to take this step. The decriminalization of homosexuality by the Indian Supreme Court on September 6, 2018 gave her “the courage to stand up for LGBT rights and make [her] own homosexual relationship public.”
The following report by Odisha TV (with subtitles) reports about it, but in an Indian language. Some selected scenes from Dutee Chand’s training give an insight into her impressive sporting potential:
In the report, we can still understand three English words: money, payment and blackmailing. , at which we will take a closer look here.
No need to rush…
Dutee Chand has revealed that she and a young woman (19 or 22 years old, depending on the source) have been living in a relationship for three or five years. At the moment they don’t want to move in together because the athlete wants to participate first in the University Games in June 2019, then in the World Championships in Athletics in October 2019 in Doha and in the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. She does not plan to retire from professional sport until five or seven years from now. Even in the near future, no marriage will be possible because India has not yet legalized gay marriage. Later, however, the two young women want to marry and have children.
Chand’s partner is known to her family. Her name, however, was not disclosed by the sprinter to protect her privacy.
So why this coming-out now? Chand’s decision to make her homosexuality public follows the verdict of the Indian Supreme Court, but also because Dutee Chand and her partner feared a slander campaign as suffered by Indian 400m and 800m sprinter Pinki Pramanik: She had been accused of rape because she looked like a man.
Not a very gay-friendly family
Since her sister's coming-out, Saraswati – the oldest of the six Chand daughters and a former athlete herself – has been spreading the word in the media that Dutee’s lover and her family are blackmailing the sprinter to get some part of her fortune. According to Saraswati, this blackmailing was the reason for Dutee’s coming out. The older sister also calls on the government to protect Dutee.
Dutee Chand then announced that her older sister had tried to blackmail her and threatened her with rejection by her family and even imprisonment. According to Dutee, the same sister had already rejected the brother under the pretext that she did not like his wife.
What do the father and mother think of their daughter’s homosexuality? This is particularly interesting, because Dutee had not informed the two before the report went through the media. The answer was promptly given by her mother’s statement in the media:
We are shocked to know that Dutee is going to marry a girl. We are totally against this lesbian relationship.
The mother has also publicly criticized her most famous daughter for not giving her the prize money to win the Asian Games despite persistent requests to help her raise the other children.
According to Dutee Chand, her partner’s family knows about the homosexuality of the two women, approves their coming out and supports their initiative.
The sprinter has received many expressions of support in the social networks. “I am so proud of her,” said American actress and presenter Ellen DeGeneres, whose own coming-out in 1997 was met with great media interest.
Who is Dutee Chand?
In the West, Dutee Chand was best known for being banned from sports competitions in 2014 because of hyperandrogenia (high testosterone levels in the blood), and for only being able to resume the competition in 2015 after winning before an arbitration tribunal. In India, however, she is as popular as a Bollywood star. In Indonesia she won the silver medal at the Asian Games 2018 on 100m and 200m, and her Indian record on 100m (in 11.24 seconds) has not been broken yet.
Chand isn't the first big hyperandrogenic athlete to come out as a lesbian: Caster Semenya, the world class sprinter over 800m has been living with Violet Raseboya for a long time, and both got married in December 2016.