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Dutee Chand, India's 1st Openly Queer Athlete, Holds LGBTQ+ Flag at CWG Opening

Chand and several LGTBQIA+ athletes held the flags as Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley ran with the Queen’s Baton.

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Dutee Chand, India's 1st Openly Queer Athlete, Holds LGBTQ+ Flag at CWG Opening
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Queer Indian sprinter Dutee Chand sent a powerful message against homophobia as she held an LGBTQIA+ flag at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Chand, along with several LGTBQIA+ athletes, held the flags as British synchronised diver and Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley ran with the Queen’s Baton to shed light on homophobia in Commonwealth countries.

Homosexuality remains illegal in 25 of the 56 nations that form the Commonwealth.

In 2014, Chand was banned from competing by the Athletics Federation of India after she failed a hormone test. The test found that she had a high testosterone level, commonly known as ‘hyperandrogegism.'

After her legal team successfully managed to overturn the ruling in 2014, she qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics and, in 2018, she won two silver medals at the Asian Games.


Chand spoke to The Quint in June 2022. She had said:

"There was a lot of controversy, I had to face a lot of difficulties. A lot of people criticised me about my relationship, even talking about my gender. I had a lot of problems at that time. I couldn’t go anywhere. Whenever anyone saw me they’d say, ‘she’s gay,’ ‘she’s lesbian’ or use odd words to describe me. Eventually people started understanding and after the reading down of Section 377, many started supporting me."
Indian Sprinter Dutee Chand

"Yes, I'm in a gay relationship. It is not a crime to love someone, it's everyone's right. To be able to spend your life with someone you like is what love is all about," Dutee told The Quint.

Tom Daley Condemns 'Homophobic' Commonwealth 

British athlete Tom Daley has publicly condemned Commonwealth nations for homophobia on the eve of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Birmingham.

As part of a BBC documentary, Daley travelled to several Commonwealth nations who still criminalise homosexuality, including Pakistan and Jamaica, to highlight discrimination faced by the LGBTQIA+ community.

Apart from Chand, the documentary titled ‘Tom Daley: Illegal To Be Me,’ features the only openly gay Jamaican national team athlete Glenroy Murray, Bisi Alimi from Nigeria, Moud Goba from Zimbabwe, Jason Jones from Trinidad and Tabago, and Uganda’s Prossy Kakooza.

(With inputs from BBC.)

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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