Fighting Homophobia: Dutee Emerges As a Role Model For LBGQ+

| Updated: August 3, 2022 3:29 pm

Dutee Unfurls LGBTQ  Flag 

In a bold move against homophobia, Dutee, India’s first openly gay athelete held the LGBTQ+ flag flag at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Six other queer athletes and activists accompanied her.

British diver Tom Daley posted a picture of the seven LGBTQ+ athletes and activists from different countries who unfurled the pride flag. He stressed in his post how homosexuality is still a crime in more than half of the Commonwealth countries. In three of the many countries, the maximum penalty is death sentence. The diver who identifies himself as gay said 

“This opening ceremony for us is about showing LGBTQ+ visibility to the billion people watching”

Love is Love 

Dutee Chand, Indian professional sprinter and current national champion in the women’s 100 metres event believes love is a feeling we can experience for anyone despite their gender or caste. She firmly believes that it is years of social conditioning that has made us believe that Love has parameters and rules, which never existed in the first place. 

Coming Out : Then Vs Now 

People in 2022 are still not entirely open to the idea of LGBTQ. Their representatives face discrimination and prejudice even today. Dutee was subject to the same kind of discrimination when she came out in 2019. She is India’s first openly gay athelete. The Jajpur resident confessed she had to face a lot of backlashes from people when she first came out. People started criticising her for her gender and her relationship. 
Still Chand is not bereft of hope as she says earlier people were afraid to come out due to societal pressure and the fear of being oppressed by the society. But she has seen things changing since she came out openly and after the amendment of Section 377. 

Support From The Community 

Indian Sports does not have a demonstrated history of queer representation. We can say that Dutee Chand is the first and only gay athelete in the country for now. Coming out is tough but everyone in Dutee’s sports circle, her fellow runners, coaches and others accepted her for who she is. There was no controversy regarding her coming out. Rather, they all supported her for the step she had taken for herself, and the society. 

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