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CWG 2022: Dutee Chand hoists LGBTQ flag during the opening ceremony, picture surfaces

Chand got a chance to Prince Charles at the Queen's Baton during the opening ceremony of the ongoing CWG 2022.

Abhishek Sandikar Author

Updated - 1 August 2022 12:49 pm

Indian sprinter Dutee Chand has been one of the biggest voices regarding the awareness of LGBTQ+ rights in the country. She became the first openly gay Indian athlete in 2019 and continued her crusade at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The Indian athlete was seen waiving the Pride flag at the opening ceremony of the event, the pictures of which are now doing rounds.

She also participated in Queen’s Baton to bring attention to homophobia in Commonwealth countries alongside British synchronised diver and Olympic gold medallist Tom Daley. The duo was also joined by Bisi Alimi, Glenroy Murray, Moud Goba, Jason Jones and Prossy Kakooza; LGBT+activistist from various Commonwealth countries like Nigeria, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Trinidad & Tobago and Uganda. 

Daley posted a picture where all these activists are waiving Pride flags in Birmingham. The photo was captioned, “Tonight at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, myself and 6 extraordinary LGBTQ+ athletes and advocates from around the Commonwealth will be carrying the Queen’s baton into the stadium.”

“In over half of the Commonwealth countries, homosexuality is still a crime and in 3 of those countries, the maximum penalty is the death sentence. These laws are a legacy of colonialism. This opening ceremony for us is about showing LGBTQ+ visibility to the billion people watching.”

After the event, Dutee Chand opened up about the struggles she faced in her journey as a closeted gay individual. She then expressed how it is important for LGBT+ athletes to receive support as they go through a lot of pain in their social circles. 

She said, “I went through a lot of mental torture, there were some who supported me. Most of my people stopped talking to me. LGBT+ athletes should be made to feel safe and comfortable in their normal being without the fear of harassment or death.”

When asked about her experience during the Queen’s Baton, Chand revealed how she was very nervous through the ceremony and also shared about meeting Prince Charles. She said, “I also got a chance to meet Prince Charles. I didn’t talk much because I hardly speak English but he told me ‘don’t be afraid’ and ‘I’m your biggest follower.’ It really boosted my confidence as we did some gigs. Such a lovely memory.”


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