Queer Places:
University of Copenhagen, Nørregade 10, 1165 København

Martin Kok (1850–1942) was a Danish author. While at the University of Copenhagen, in 1877, Martin Kok groped a student who had attended a students’ union party dressed as a woman. He later became a writer, publishing right-wing nationalistic poetry; he became involved with the circle of literary homosexuals which, in the 1880s, centred on Herman Bang.

Kok belonged to the first generation of homosexual men in Denmark. In the 1880s and 1890s he was the one notorious and publicly known homosexual who exemplified an otherwise hidden world of depravity and sexual perversity. In this role he was succeeded by the author Herman Bang, who eclipsed Kok through his literary talent and his ability to pose semi-publicly as a homosexual. In 1877 Kok and Joakim Reinhard became involved in the first publicised homosexual scandal in Copenhagen.

Kok published patriotic and nationalistic poetry and belonged politically to the Conservative Party. As such he was implicated in another homosexual scandal engineered in 1885 by the Social Democratic press. The homosexual element of the scandal was entirely fictitious. In 1893 Kok was arrested and spent three weeks in jail for gross indecency with a 16-year-old butcher's apprentice. This was not illegal and he was acquitted. While he was in jail a newspaper of the traditionalist agrarian left strongly hinted that Kok, when 8 years old, had been seduced by the now deceased author Hans Christian Andersen, ‘who all his life remained the finicky bachelor’. In a letter to Andersen's literary executor, Jonas Collin (the younger), Kok characterised the allegation as ‘a mendacious fabrication’. Kok's denial was published. Although the alleged seduction is extremely implausible, it nevertheless became the starting point for the assumption that Andersen had been a homosexual.

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