Dutee Chand, India’s first openly-LGBTQ athlete, is gracing this month’s Cosmopolitan magazine cover.
The talented sprinter is shown in the cover of Cosmo India’s July issue wearing some running gear and a rainbow jacket with a running track as her background.
In an Instagram post, the magazine teased that the issue contains Chand sharing the story of her journey as an athlete and the challenges she experienced after publicly admitting that she is in a same-sex relationship.
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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
Chand, who won two silver medals for India in the 2018 Asian Games, made headlines back in May when she opened up about her relationship.
“I believe everyone should have the freedom to be with whoever they decide they want to be with” she was quoted as saying. “I have always supported the rights of those who want to be in a same-sex relationship. It is an individual person’s choice.”
Chand also shared how her eldest sister strongly opposed her relationship.
“My eldest sister kind of wields power and authority in my family. She has thrown out my elder brother from home because she does not like his wife. She has threatened me that same will happen to me,” she explained.
“She feels that my partner is interested in my property. She has told me that she will send me to jail for having this relationship. But I am also an adult who has individual freedom. So, I decided to go ahead with this and make it public.”
Chand also lamented in later interviews that some of her family members were also not fully supportive of her relationship, noting that she hopes she finds acceptance soon.
“What I am doing is not wrong, nor is it a crime,” she said.
As openly gay figures are a rarity in India, Chand’s coming out is considered a landmark among many members of the LGBTQ community in the country.