Indian village disowns first openly gay athlete

Indian village disowns first openly gay athlete

Dutee Chand is India’s first openly gay athlete. She has been disowned by her village and her family. They say ‘It’s humiliating for us’. She has been praised for coming out but her family and village says that they cannot accept a gay relationship. Chand is fearing for her safety as her coming out has spurred a backlash.

She belongs to a village called Chaka Gopalpur. It is a village of weavers in Odisha. Dutee Chand is India’s fastest sprinter. She had told reporters on 19 May that her gay partner is her soulmate. Chand’s mother, Akhuji, was talking with a media outlet and said that she will not support her in this. She said “I had been supporting her all along for her special interest in sports but … we belong to a traditional weaver community, which does not permit such things. How can we face our relatives and society?”

Chand is 23-years old and is praised for her courage as India hardly has any gay celebrities. It has been called a watershed moment for Indian society but the backlash is too severe. It is too severe that her parents and partner has to move away from her village as the remarks from the people in the village are hostile.

She says that people in the city are supporting her but people in the village and her family are not her supporters. She says that she has to wait and see what happens next. People are scared for her safety as there is extremism in India’s society as mobs can appear from nowhere to assault or lynch Muslims or those of a different sexuality.

On 26 May, 19-year-old woman in Odisha was dragged out of her house, tied to a tree and beaten by villagers for being in a lesbian relationship. Reports say the assault happened after villagers found the two women in bed. Civil rights activists are saying that as the rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party has won the elections and will return to power, attacks on minorities especially Muslims and sexual minorities have risen.

Senior writer at the Chicago Morning Star

Related Posts
India bans entry of people coming from 30 countries amid COVID-19 threats
India has taken steps to stop the spread of coronavirus. The Indian authorities have banned
Iran condemns attack on Muslims in India
Iran has condemned the allegedly organized violence against Muslims in India. Iranian officials called it
Religious violence claims numerous lives in Delhi protests
Delhi is facing the worst religious violence seen in decades as the death toll has
Mahathir Mohammed stays firm on his stand against Indian policies despite of sanctions
Mahathir Mohammed, the prime minister of Malaysia, said that they had anxiety about the sanctions
Indian Bureau of Immigration orders German student to leave India
The Bureau of Immigration officials ordered a German Student to leave India as he was
Indian student denies taking gold metal against Citizenship Act
The protests against the controversial Citizenship Act have been increasing with the passage of every
Huge protests in New Delhi University against new citizenship law, 100 injured
Police used tear gas shells and sticks against the protestors in a prime institute of
Another young girl raped in Bihar state of India
A young girl has been raped and killed in the Buxar district of the northeastern
Sikh citizen donates land for mosque in India
A Sikh citizen of Uttar Pradesh (UP), a state of India, donated land for the
India tightens security due to threat of Hindu-Muslim riots
The fear of Hindu-Muslim riots rose after the decision of the Babri Mosque case. According