Odia Athlete Dutee Urges Those In Same-Sex Relationships To Be Courageous, Like Her

New Delhi: People have been looking at her differently ever since Dutee Chand revealed that she was in a same-sex relationship, but that hardly affects the leading Indian sprinter.

Dutee, who hails from Odisha’s Jajpur, urged those who are in same-sex relationships to be courageous and hold their heads high. “One may fall in love anytime, and with anyone. One does not decide that based on caste, religion or gender,” Dutee said during an online interaction with US Consul General in Hyderabad Joel Reifman, reports PTI.

Sprinter Dutee, who owns the national record in women’s 100m with a time of 11.26 seconds, revealed in May 2019 that she was in a relationship with a woman from her village in Odisha, saying that coming out of the closet was better than hiding” her personal life from the public.

“My partner supported me every time and I have chosen her for my life. People may look at us differently or call us by any name like gay, lesbian etc. That does not matter so far as we get to spend our lives with each other,” added Dutee, the first Indian woman track and field athlete to clinch gold in World University Games and also bagged silver medal each in 100 and 200m at the 2018 Asian Games.

Her family had objected to the relationship and her elder sister threatened to disown her, but Dutee was unruffled.

“For all who are in love but afraid of the world, you must show courage because the world has always taken time to accept all good things,” she said. “So please do not be afraid because it is your life and your happiness.”

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