Perhaps the most famous reference of this contemptuous slang of homosexual man is that of Federico García Lorca in his “Ode to Walt Whitman” (1929) with his “Floras de Alicante“. But without neglecting the traditional relationship of flowers with the feminine and the use of flower names as slang for homosexual men, such as “Amapolo” in Spanish or “Pansy” in the English language, it is possible that this slang had its origin in meanings and uses of the word flora that go back, at least, to the previous century.
Flora, besides referring to the plant world and the poetic work of a writer, has also been synonymous with tender, soft, etc., and so we find it in a publication of 1868-1869 entitled “Los Borbones en Pelota” (Naked Bourbons) a satirical and pornographic work signed by the pseudonym SEM and attributed, not without discussion, to the Bécquer brothers, in which was included a popular song that insinuated the homosexuality of the King consort Francisco Asís de Borbón that said thus:
es de pasta flora
y orina en cuclillas
como las señoras.
(Custard Paquito / is made of “pasta flora”/ and squatting urine / like the ladies).
To refer to the “pasta” that someone is made of is to refer to the type of temperament or essential character that defines that person.
In addition, in the play by Roberto Arlt “Trescientos millones” (Three Hundred Million) (1932), we find a scene in which a man, to show his feelings towards a woman, speaks her of his “heart of pasta flora” and his “tender heart”.
Tenderness, softness, smoothness, in general, are characteristics socially attributed to women since ancient times and that turn into insults directed against the men we would today call homosexuals, against those who could be for their effeminacy or against any man you want to insult highlighting his little manhood.
Variations: Floro, Mariflora.