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Emma (Külz-)Trosse (1863-1949)

 Emma Trosse, undatiert (c) Sammlung Helmut Poppelreuter (Bad-Neuenahr-Ahrweiler)

Emma Trosse was the first woman to publish a monograph about homosexuality. Her work "Der Konträrsexualismus in Bezug auf Ehe und Frauenfrage" (Homosexuality in relation to marriage and the question of women's rights) was brought out half anonymously in 1895. In 1897 the anonymous article "Ein Weib? Psychologisch-biographische Studie über eine Konträrsexuelle" (Female? A psychological-biographical study about someone feeling homosexual) followed, which became to be forbidden by the Reich's Court of Leipzig in the very same year due to violation of paragraph 184 for being an ´obscene document`.

Besides, Emma Trosse was one of the first women to publish a reformist work on sexual policy: In 1897 her brochure "Ist freie Liebe Sittenlosigkeit?" (Is free love immoral?) came out. Despite these unique publications almost nothing is known about Emma Trosse's works and her biography; until today her writings are little recognized.

Raised in a middle class teacher"s household Emma Trosse was, according to a contemporary, one of the first women to be allowed the status of a guest at the Friedrich Wilhelms University of Berlin in order to attend the lectures of the Philosophy department. There are no insights into the background of this early participation in university life nor a possible enrolment as a fulltime student later on. There is only positive evidence for her career as a teacher and head of a boarding school as well as her later involvement in her husband's sanatorium ("Sanatorium of the Ahrtal"). She had married Georg Alexander Constantin Külz (1869-1923) in 1900, and had a daughter, Irmgard Külz (1902-1961, later Quednow), with him. In Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler Emma Trosse is known until today as a so-called regional writer.


Christiane Leidinger (Berlin 2005)
Katharina Mader (Translation, Bad Neuenahr 2005)

Suggested citation:
Leidinger, Christiane: Emma (Külz-)Trosse (1863-1949) [online]. Berlin 2005. Available from: Online-Projekt Lesbengeschichte. Boxhammer, Ingeborg/Leidinger, Christiane. URL <http://www.lesbengeschichte.de/Englisch/bio_trosse_e.html> [cited DATE].

New research:

Leidinger, Christiane: Transgressionen – Streifzüge durch Leben und Werk von Emma Trosse (1863-1949). Erste Denkerin des Dritten Geschlechts der Homosexuellen und Sinnlichkeitslosen. In: invertito. Jahrbuch für die Geschichte der Homosexualitäten 14. Hamburg: Männerschwarm 2013, S. 9-38.

Leidinger Christiane Emma Trosse (1863-1949), verheiratete Külz – Lehrerin, Leiterin, Autorin. In: Mitteilungen der Magnus-Hirschfeld-Gesellschaft 48, Berlin 2011, S. 17-21 (darin: S. 18-21: Literatur von und zu Emma Trosse (Werkbibliographie von 1895-1931, Reprint, Biobibliographie).


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