Mara Drozdova

Set of illustrations

The Story of Riga Pride and the flowers that help make it happen.

The flowers represent the diversity of the LGBTQ community and its supporters in all its glory. They are an invitation for everyone to bloom in different communities and groups. To see and get to know the diversity that has always been among us. This year, Riga Pride decided to take a different path of communication by “speaking through the flowers”.

Flowers have always been used as a form of communication, to show respect, to connect with loved ones, and as a form of symbolism in different communities through the ages. Oscar Wilde with green carnations, the ancient Greek poet Sappho with violets. Pansies, daisies, and buttercups – these were the words used in a negative way to describe homosexual people in the 20th century. Although it is rare to hear such terms used today, they do exist. We may be called by different names, but it is up to us to decide whether these words affect us or whether we prevail and turn them around to say: Yes, I am a beautiful flower that has reached towards the sun through difficulties, stood tall against the gusts of wind, and in spite of it all – blossomed in all my splendour. 

The lavender that’s representing the bisexual flag colors, and the color itself was often used as a symbol of resistance and empowerment during the “Stonewall” riot by joining forces of gay men and lesbians. The forget-me-not flowers for the trans community, blooming in trans flag colors and asking not to be forgotten. The crocus – one of the first messengers of the spring that welcomes the sun back into our lives – for non-binary people, as a symbol based on color similarities of the flag and of how many traces there are back in human history pointing out non-binary people’s existence in different religions and stories. Iris for intersex people who just like the flower is made beautifully, having something from both sides and the tulip – is one of the symbols of true and pure love for the asexuals.

The sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower, is becoming a symbol of resistance against the country’s invasion by Russian forces. Its exuberant and lively form represents the antithesis of the destruction now being suffered by the Ukrainian people. Latvia wishes for Ukraine to bloom in victory. We cannot forget our straight allies who are helping us to bloom in our beauty, creating the buzz around us, and are our friends – the honey bees.

Creative Director: Arturs Melniks

Illustrator: Mara Caure