Good Sports: Athletic Community Embraces Gay Sprinter
It was only three years ago that India’s Supreme Court legalized same-sex relationships, but that milestone has led to other positive steps, including the athletic community’s acceptance of Dutee Chand, India’s first major gay athlete.
In a recent interview with ESPN, the 25-year-old sprinter from Odisha recalled getting a call from Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwala in 2019, not long after her older sister had outed her to the media.
“He told me not to worry and assured me that my orientation was strictly a personal matter and would have no bearing on my opportunities as an athlete,” Chand said. “It was a relief to hear that at a time when I was facing intense backlash from family and neighbors. It’s now been over two years since I’ve been out and my career has been unaffected by it.”
A two-time silver medalist at the Asian Games, Chand has inspired other gay athletes, including a few who compete nationally.
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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