India’s fastest woman and queer athlete Dutee Chand tells same-sex couples: ‘Please do not be afraid’
The fastest woman in India, Dutee Chand, has sought to inspire fellow sprinters and sporting enthusiasts alike to come out as queer and emphatically told same-sex couples: “Please, do not be afraid.”
The 24-year-old told American diplomats, New Indian Express reported, that coming out as queer has led to people seeing her “differently”, but it doesn’t bother her in the slightest.
Chand currently holds the title of national record holder in the country, having sprinted 100 metres in 11.26. seconds. Not as fast as Britney Spears, but still. Commendable.
Dutee Chand: ‘Please do not be afraid because it is your life and your happiness.’
It comes are, across the world, more and more athletes are coming out as LGBT+. In Britain, the first professional footballer in decades to come out, Thomas Beattie, did last month.
This week, a Dutch rower proudly came out as bisexual – again, speaking at length of the hurdles snarling queer athletes in being open about their sexual orientation and gender identity while active.
“One may fall in love anytime and with anyone. One does not decide that based on caste, religion or gender,” Dutee said in an online interaction with US Consul General in Hyderabad, Joel Reifman.
“My partner supported me every time and I have chosen her for my life,” Chand added. discussing how she said “coming out of the closet” was better than “hiding” her sexuality.
“People may look at us differently or call us by any name like gay, lesbian, et cetera. That does not matter so far as we get to spend our lives with each other.”
Chand said she has remained unrattled by the divisions her coming out cracked into her family – she said her family objected to her relationship with another woman, and her older sister even threatened to disown her.
“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.”