Dutee Chand has been in the news of late, and perhaps for not the best of reasons.
Dutee Chand, a national lever sprinter, who came out as gay in May has been the subject of speculation as she revealed that she is in a same-sex relationship. Chand is India's first openly-gay athlete.
Dutee, who won two silver medals at the 2018 Asian Games, became one of the few athletes in the world to openly admit same-sex relationship.
Instead of this being a very positive account, however, her revelation came in the light of the facts that her elder sister had threatened to go public with this information, as a way of blackmailing her. Since her revelation, Dutee has said that her family is not fully supportive of her relationship, and she hopes she finds acceptance soon.
"What I am doing is not wrong, nor is it a crime," she told News18 in an interview.
Now, despite the hurdles, Dutee Chand isn't shying away from coming out.
Cosmopolitan India's digital cover features the sprinter.
Dressed in all-black athletic active-wear, Dutee Chand is also draped with a rainbow colored tulle-material cape.
The same colours as the rainbow, and of pride, as June is International Pride month.
"India's Shining Star and First Openly-Gay Athlete," the caption reads.
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Ace sprinter @duteechand is the digital cover star of our July 2019 issue. Recently, she became the first Indian sportsperson to openly declare that she’s in a same-sex relationship. In an exclusive interview with Cosmo India, Dutee opens up about her journey as an athlete, her coming-out story, and more. Issue on stands now. ✨ Editor: Nandini Bhalla (@nandinibhalla) Fashion Stylist: Zunaili Malik (@zunailimalik) Photographer: Sushant Chhabria (@sushantchhabria) Hair & Makeup: Maniasha at Faze Management (@bymaniasha) Interview: Sreeparna Mazumder (@sreeparna.mazumder) Dutee is wearing sports bra: Superdry Sports (@superdryindia); shorts, Fila (@filaindia); cape: Namrata Joshipura (@namratajoshipura) . . . . . . #DuteeChand #OnlyInCosmo #CosmoIndia #lgbtq #pride #loveislove
Dutee Chand's coming out, irrespective of the circumstances, was a landmark in India. We don't see openly gay popular figures in media. Her being on the cover, is perhaps on the same note - that you shouldn't have to shy away from who you are, irrespective of who you love.