Sapphic Symbol

The first Violets
The first Violets

No International Women’s Day would be complete without a mention of Sappho, the ancient Greek poetess. Not only was she Lesbian from the island of Lesbos, but what little we know about her suggests that she was lesbian in the LGBT sense, too.

She was what we would, today, call a singer/songwriter – and a superstar to boot. Her fame spread wherever there was Greek influence and her contemporaries referred to her as the Golden Voiced Goddess.

In 1927, a “scandalous” theatre production suggested that one of the female leads had a lesbian lover – who sent her posies of violets. It was raided by the police and closed down immediately. The idea caught on however, and for some years afterwards a woman wore a posy of violets when she wanted to show she was in a sapphic relationship – that she had female lover.

The Ancient Greeks loved their drama – I’m sure they would have approved.

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