The 100-metre sprint champion made headlines on May 19 when she announced she had a female soulmate. Chand, 23, was praised worldwide for her courage in coming out and paving the way for other Indian athletes to do so. But the village where she was born treated her coming out as an offence. Speaking to The Guardian, villager Prashant Behra said that they had been supporting Chand along the way but this wqas something they were simply unable to accept. Chand’s mother, Akhuji, said to the Indian Express that she would not accept if her daughter decided to marry a woman because they belong to the traditional community that does not permit such things. There are very few openly LGBT+ celebrities in India, because this country’s Supreme Court officially legalized gay sex only with its ruling dated September 2018, and Chand took a great risk in coming out: just a few days after she did so, villagers from another Odisha town publicly beaten a lesbian girl.