Dutee Chand who became India’s first openly LGBTI athlete has revealed that following coming-out her sister is threatening to expel her from their family.
23-year-old Chand, who broke ground by coming out as an LGBTI athlete following India’s historic recent decriminalisation of homosexuality, explained that she is in a relationship, however, her sexuality has not been accepted by many in her family.
“I am having a relationship with a 19-year-old woman from my village (Chaka Gopalpur) for the past five years. She is a kind of soul-mate for me and I want to settle down with her in future,” Chand explained to the PTI news agency.
Chand who is the current national champion in the women’s 100 metres event and won two silver medals at the Asian Games in 2018, added that while she is happy with her partner, her family does not feel the same, especially her sister.
“My eldest sister feels that my partner is interested in my property. She has told me that she will send me to jail for having this relationship.”
The sprinter added: “I have always believed that everyone should have the freedom to love. There is no greater emotion than love and it should not be denied.”
Chand who was able to publicly come-out following India’s Supreme Court ruling in September 2018, that removed the colonial era Section 377 law criminalising consensual adult homosexuality, says that the country still has a long way to go in regards to perception and equality for the LGBTI community.