Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s sprinting sensation Dutee Chand has once again in news but not for the sports reason. The reason for which she hogged the headlines this time has shocked sports lovers and her family members. She came out in public about her relationship with a same sex person.
She has said she is in love with a girl from her hometown Jajpur whom she has known for a few years. She did not disclose her partner’s identity as she does not want her to become “the centre of undue attention.
“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. 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,” said Dutee.
On her plan for marriage she said “As of now there is no plan for marriage but will do it as per Odia tradition. That time, I will invite all”.
She said she had gathered the courage to speak out for the rights of the LGBT community, and about her own same-sex relationship after the Supreme Court’s historic decision to decriminalise Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code last year.
She has also been a torchbearer in the fight for the eligibility of female athletes in track and field events. Dutee had successfully moved the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules on hyperandrogenism, which put a cap on the testosterone levels of women athletes who wanted to compete in track and field events.