chapter  17
12 Pages

Negotiating Respectable Citizenship

Homosexual Emancipation Struggles in Early Twentieth-Century Copenhagen
WithNiels Nyegaard

At the turn of the twentieth century, numerous efforts at the emancipation of homosexuals proliferated across Europe. They particularly occurred in the grand metropolises of those European countries where same-sex relations were objects of legal discrimination. This chapter examines two public defences of homosexuality authored by Carl Hansen and Emil Aae, in 1907 and 1909, respectively. Both defences emanated from the so-called Great Morality Scandal of 1906–07. In its exploration of the two defences, the chapter examines how Hansen and Aae attempted to reclaim their respectable citizenship. It does so from a theoretical perspective of citizen performativity. It discusses the stakes involved in Hansen and Aae's emancipatory efforts, including their principal negotiations of respectable citizenship, gender and sexuality. Particularly the issue of male homosexual prostitution gave rise to the Great Morality Scandal in 1906–07. During the summer of 1906, Copenhagen's municipal police arrested a handful of young working-class men for homosexual prostitution.