Early History of Emory and Sexuality

Talks with S


The word “Sexuality” broadly encompasses a jargon that includes terms such as biological sex, gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. Traditionally, this model expected a male having masculine-like features, to be attracted to women and a woman having feminine-like features to be attracted to a man. The foundation of this old model was questioned in the last few hundred years when males and females alike got attracted to members of their own gender. In addition, there existed individuals who got attracted to both men and women. These developments now lead to what some call “queer” trends and have resulted in birth of further jargon such as bisexual, transgender, cisgender, cissexual and more. This new and all-inclusive model came to light only in the 1800’s. As the entire world is yet to be developed, so are the thoughts of mankind yet to be synced as one. Thus this difference of opinion in accepting this new inclusive model is justified in some ways, as changing the traditional sexuality model that has been engraved in mankinds brain will take time. This does not however deny the fact that those who have synced their views to the modern inclusive model showed suffer consequences from others who have yet to admit and then accept this changed reality. What worsens the situation is that one’s race, ethnicity, religion and education level are involved in this scenario.

The two articles mentioned in the citations at the end, demonstrated this reality witnessed by the two lead characters, Kitty from “Kitty’s Cottage and the Methodist Civil War” and Yun Ch’i-ho from “Romance and Race in the Jim Crow South: Yun Ch’i-ho and the Personal Politics of Christian Reform.” The demeaning views and expressions of various characters in both the real-life stories, showed the existence of the traditional model co-existent with race and culture. In both the scripts respectively, Kitty and Yun underwent inferior treatment, due to religion, color, caste or sex. Several years later even today, we can see judgemental treatment of people towards one another. This can be broadly characterorized as insignificant treatment in the forms of racisim, inferior treatment towards women, not accepting and upholding fair treatment towards others who may be regarded as belonging to the queer group, etc.

Present day Emory does not experience such inferior treatment towards anyone; as today we can see students from all across the globe coming from diverse locations, cultures and heritages. This is not limited to just the students, but faculty and staff at emory is equally diverse and the concept of the white male being the most dominant specie is not witnessed. Well, atleast not in the wide open. Belonging to the Indian origin I can comment that the Indian society is distinctively divided, into what is regarded as the higher and lower strata, depending on caste, religion, race and even color of the skin. What further negatively adds fuel to this situation is the reluctance to accept the existence of an inclusive model. One example I personally consider a huge underdevelopment in the path towards accepting the inclusive model in India are the views of the most famous Indian Guru, Baba Ramdev. He states, “It can be treated like any other cogenital defect. Such tendencies can be treated by yoga, pranayam and other meditation techniques,”in reference to India’s High Court legalizing gay sex. A leading Bollywood actress, Celina Jaitely opposes Baba Ramdev’s opinion that “homosexuality is a disease” by “With all due respects to Baba Ramdev he may have the so called ‘cure’ but the point is LGBT community does NOT see homosexuality as a disease. People should not be judged on basis of what they do in their bedroom because if it was only about that… some of our taxes would have to be deployed into a special bedroom vigilance force, which I am sure these babas would love to lead.”

While one is entitled to their own opinions, one should also be considerate towards the sensibilities of others around them. One can only hope that as the times change, all of mankind is able to broaden their minds to accept different sexualities as the new and evolved truth of today.






Urban, Andrew. “Romance and Race in the Jim Crow South: Yun Ch’i-ho and the Personal Politics of Christian Reform.”

Adams, Allison. “Kitty’s Cottage and the Methodist Civil War.”

The International Encyclopedia of Sexuality: United States of America

Zee News. “Baba Ramdev to challenge HC verdict legalising gay sex”

Bollywood Mantra. “Celina Jaitley hits back at Baba Ramdev”

4 thoughts on “

  1. It was really interesting that you brought up other country’s views on sexuality and their difficulties in accepting the inclusive model. You were able to put the topic in perspective and allowed me to think more globally about the situation. I never knew that people in India view homosexuality as a “cogential defect… [that] can be treated by yoga, pranayam and other meditation techniques”. People do have a right to their opinions, but it is good to know there are always people there on the other side fighting against them. This debate on sexuality is a global issue will probably always lead to disagreements; that is human nature.

    • I think it’s interesting that you say the racial, religious and gender based divisions are not witnessed at Emory. Even as a white, Christian female, I often feel like the divisions are huge.
      I am really glad you gave such a dramatic and worldly example of the problems being faced in India because it makes the differences here appear smaller. Questions of sexuality and how best to judge the outliers have been posed and argued for thousands of years. What’s interesting to me is that it has always been the wealthy and most prominent individuals whose opinion seems to make the call on what others will accept so it’s awesome that a prominent actress is speaking out against such a prominent leader.

  2. Talks: Thanks for broadening our horizons (so to speak) and including examples of how sexual orientation is understood in other countries. In your post you say “What worsens the situation is that one’s race, ethnicity, religion and education level are involved in this scenario.” Do you mean that taking into account other aspects of a person’s identity can further complicate a situation because someone may be discriminated against because of their sexuality but gain privilege because of their race, religion, ability etc.? Also, this idea of gayness or homosexuality as a “congenital defect” is an interesting one. I think in this country, still today, many people are interested in finding a genetic marker for “gayness” so that any fetus born with it can be destroyed. The contexts might be very different but the end game is the same: get rid of gay.

  3. Dear Ms. Troka: When I said, “What worsens the situation is that one’s race, ethnicity, religion and education level are involved in this scenario,” I meant that the process of acceptance of sexual identities is not a concept that stands alone. Various religions incorporate different traditions and notions that do not even acknowledge the existence of “other” sexual identities. Similarly, in several countries, like my own home country, India, sex is a topic that is not discussed about at home, nor in school. When people are not even open about discussing this issue, not even the issue of protective sex with someone of the opposite gender (say a male having protective sex with a female), the issue of men having sex with another male is a far fetched idea. Here, one is not even aware of the different sexual identities that exist in society. In totality, ones race, religion, caste, ethnicity holds strong views in ones thinking. Thus, sometimes, one may have to face the consequences of going against their cultures traditional beliefs in opting for a particular stance, say even coming out as being a lesbian in their own community. This interconnection of sexuality with one’s race, ethnicity, religion and education level, makes everything even harder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *