The monthly Odia magazine, Kadambini, will be featuring the Universiade Gold Medalist, Dutee Chand, and her partner on their much-awaited Valentine’s Day cover. While the sprinter is internationally renowned for her athletic prowess and has been out for a few years now, she had so far refrained from bringing her partner’s identity to the forefront.
For the first time ever, the athlete and her partner have spoken in detail about their love story and actually revealed Monalisa’s identity. They have both been interviewed at length for this feature, and have very generously given great insight into their journey of falling (and staying) in love.
The couple has allegedly disclosed that they met during the Khudurkuni Puja in their village, and stayed in touch through their phones for over a year before confessing their feelings for each other. Speaking to the editor, Dr. Samanta, they traced their relationship from that moment till date. Dutee apparently spoke at length about her commitment to Monalisa and her determination to not let any external forces deter her from being with her beloved.
The magazine will not only be featuring excerpts from this narrative but will also be quoting Chand’s responses to the queerphobia that she faces. According to sources, the interview included Dutee mentioning that the only difference between queer love and heteroromantic relationships is the difference in the way that people perceive them.
Chand is famously India’s first athlete to have come out as a part of the queer community, and the fact that her love story will be on the cover of a highly circulated family magazine on 14th February is definitely a significant step towards inclusivity and visibility in regional media.
Most importantly, the fact that Dutee and Monalisa have been able to take the space and time to come forward at their own pace and actually speak their truth in their own words is a breath of fresh, liberating air! This is definitely a Valentine’s Day feature to watch out for, as it seems to be one that will go beyond performative allyship and will actually give queer love the space that it deserves.