Twitter reacts to IKEA’s new Pride-themed couches

Virgin Radio

30 Jun 2021, 15:06

Ah, IKEA. Home of meatballs, BILLY bookcases and that slightly unnerving feeling you get when you’ve been lost in the showroom for six hours and have forgotten what natural light looks like…

But yesterday, and just as Pride Month drew to a close, many Twitter uses added another feeling to that list; namely confusion (and for some, mild fear) when IKEA Canada unveiled their new Pride-themed range of couches.

The collection of ‘Love Seats’ are, according to IKEA Canada, ‘inspired by the colours of different Pride flags, and the lived experiences from a wide spectrum of gender and sexual identities they represent.’

But the couch inspired by the bisexual flag has attracted particular attention from the internet, not only for its slightly unnerving hand-print design, but also for the phrase ‘nobody believes you’, which is stitched into the back cushion.

Whilst many Twitter users are baffled by the couch, Brian Lanigan, the bisexual spoken-word artist whose story inspired the design, took to the website to explain the reasoning behind the wording:

He explained that the design is inspired by a poem he wrote when he was fifteen, which featured the line ‘it’s okay to love boys or girls, but when you change ‘or’ to ‘and’, nobody believes you’.

Brian went on to explain that the hands in the design are meant to represent the reactions of the audience when he performed the poem, ‘especially those of other bisexual folks who would approach me after performances and share their story with me’.

Whilst Brian’s explanation raises some very important points about bi-erasure, Twitter is Twitter, and many users took to the website to propose their own additions to the couch collection:

Some of these comment on the difficulty that some members of the LGBTQ+ community have with labelling their sexuality, whilst others, like the one below, are just plain bizarre: 

Although there are mixed opinions about the couches, which are on display in various Canadian IKEA stores and are not for sale, they’ve certainly got people talking…

For more LGBTQ+ related content, check out Virgin Radio Pride, our pop-up station for the summer. You can listen to Virgin Radio Pride UK on DAB in London, online or via the Virgin Radio app.