Zine Preview: Queer Language of Flowers

Coming this October: “The Queer Language of Flowers,” a new zine by me and L.M. Zoller of I’ll Make It Myself. We cover literature, flagging, history, symbolism, ethnobotany and ecology. Each of the 13 plants profiled is accompanied by pen illustrations (scroll to the bottom for previews). This digest-size zine will be risograph printed in black and white with a three-color cover. We’re looking forward to working with Paper Press Punch again for printing and production!


To give you an idea of our goals in putting this zine together, here is an excerpt from L.M.’s introduction:

Queer folks are trained from a young age to read between the lines. Queer coding, in the sense of queer folks using secret signals, symbols, language, and clothing to signify to others like us who we are and what we like, is critical to surviving and thriving in a society where we are almost always considered non-normative, if not abnormal or aberrant. Whether it’s reclaiming the pink triangle, wearing a rainbow pin, tucking a hanky into a back pocket, painting our ring fingernails in a certain color, or wearing a green carnation or a violet, our coded signals to each other can be overt signs of pride or somewhat covert nods to each other that the straight folks don’t pick up on.

What’s a contemporary queer to do when they want to say something with flowers? Read this book, of course! We’ve collected some of the historical flower meanings as well as invented some of our own to create a language of flowers for contemporary queer culture with nods to art, literature, botany, and history.