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Let yourself bloom

Society, much like nature, can only exist if diversity is present. If a group of people is neglected, the universal progress halts. This year, the biggest human rights event in the Baltics, “Baltic Pride”, returns to Riga from 6-15 June to reach new heights by joined forces. We will support all people, no matter their sexual orientation, gender identity and its expressions, ethnic background, race, age, social status, or any other circumstance.

“Speaking through flowers” is an old Latvian idiom, representing indirect and oblique communication – a practice deeply embedded in LGBTQ history. Since the 6th century BCE, when the Archaic Greek poet Sappho used this floral symbolism to describe her lover adorned with a crown of violets. The community, historically forced to conceal their identities, has always found secretive communication methods to recognize those common to them and to communicate in secure ways – akin to Victorian lovers who exchanged messages using the secret language of flowers. Reviving this ancient practice, we use flower illustrations associated with LGBTQ identities, allowing everyone to bloom in their wonderful diversity.

The association with violets dates back to the 6th century BC when the ancient Greek poet Sappho described a lover with a crown of violets on her head in her poems. These flowers are often depicted in literature as a symbol of beauty and female love. Women who fought for women’s rights were also given violets as an honour. These flowers are unique in their ability to adapt and survive in a wide range of growing and climatic conditions.

The green carnation became a gay symbol in 1892 when Oscar Wilde invited his friends to attend the premiere of the comedy Lady Windermere’s Fan with a green carnation pinned to their lapels. Since then, a green carnation on your lapel was a secret sign of recognition that you were a man who loved other men. In inter-war Latvia, the identifying sign for homosexual men was a black carnation. There were rumours in Riga about a gay meeting place called the “Black Carnation”, to which the entrance ticket was a special badge with a black carnation.

Lavender flowers bloom in the colours of the Bisexual Pride flag, which combines blue, fuchsia, and lavender shades. Blue represents attraction to the opposite sex, fuchsia represents same-sex attraction and lavender represents diversity as it is a combination of both. After the 1969 Stonewall riots, hundreds of people protested police violence against the LGBTQ community by taking to the streets of New York, and lavender colours was used as a symbol of resistance.

The forget-me-nots bloom in the colours of the trans pride flag. The name “ forget-me-not” is an appeal to attention for this often-forgotten part of the community. The gentle nature of the plant reminds us of the vulnerability of the trans community, but when they bloom, they make the world beautiful and unforgettable.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, people belonging to the LGBTQ community have been called pansies. The origins of this word hold negative connotations – like the word “queer”. But with time the word was picked up by the drag parties and underground queer movements in New York – the events were called “The Pansy craze”.

Irises come in many different colours, but one of the most common ones is yellow. Interestingly, yellow is also the central colour of the Pride flag of intersex people. Notably, the iris plant has both male and female reproductive structures. In ancient Greek, the word “iris” means the personification of the rainbow, which is one of the symbols of the LGBTQ community.

Tulips symbolise true love, generosity, and respect. Their symbolic meaning represents the essence of asexuality, where the pursuit of unconditional love, respect, and understanding is more important than physical attraction. Tulips are one of the few flowers in nature that lack a defined gender, which makes them truly unique in the plant world.

The yellow rose is a symbol of aromanticism because, in the world of flowers, the colour yellow represents friendship. Yellow flowers can also symbolise happiness, joy, and new beginnings.

The crocus has been a symbol of the queer community for thousands of years, and in our flower bouquet, it stands for non-binary people. In ancient Greece, the crocus symbolised love across gender lines.

In the English language, “Sweet pea” is commonly used to address a loved one affectionately. Pansexuals, like flowering sweat peas, are capable of forming romantic or sexual attachments with anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The flower itself symbolises blissful pleasure.

As the evening primroses wake up at night, they enchant everyone with their sweet scent. This flower is dedicated to those who keep their true selves hidden from others, only revealing themselves to a select few. It symbolises the fact that our individual beauty is special and should be celebrated, even if it is only witnessed by a few people. Symbolically, the flower helps to release old wounds, feelings of abandonment, and other emotional burdens that weigh heavily on our hearts.

Bees play a very important role in the life of flowers. Bees and flowers help each other and can be considered best friends. Flowers provide bees with the nectar and pollen they need, and bees allow flowers to flourish. Supporters of the LGBTQ community work closely with the community to promote social change and help the community thrive. By working together, we have the power to make a positive impact on the world. Our friends can help us become more visible and stronger. Thank you for your support!