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Twitter blows up after IKEA “unveiled” a shocking bisexual loveseat for Pride

Out of all of IKEA's Pride-inspired ones, the bisexual flag-inspired loveseat design didn't go over well the most.
Out of all of IKEA's Pride-inspired ones, the bisexual flag-inspired loveseat design didn't go over well the most.Photo: Screenshots/Twitter

IKEA Canada has launched a Pride campaign, LOVE SEAT, featuring “10 loveseats inspired by different Pride flags.” It doesn’t appear the loveseats are actually available for sale (yet), and they were actually designed by LGBTQ designers from Canada.

Of course, this did not stop Twitter from being either surprisingly impressed or absolutely repulsed by them. The bisexual design, however, was universally panned despite the good intentions.

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The bisexual loveseat was designed in blue, purple, and pink after the bisexual Pride flag. Sticking out of the loveseat, though, is a bunch of fake two-dimensional and three-dimensional hands, and the two cushions read, “When you change OR to AND / Nobody believes you.”

Unsurprisingly, anti-LGBTQ people also took the opportunity to bash the “creepy” design and suggest it’s part of some agenda.

Much of the backstory for the design was also online, but not in the screengrabs shared to Twitter. The inspiration behind the loveseat, Brian Lanigan, took to Twitter to explain it.

“The line “when you change ‘or’ to ‘and’, nobody believes you” is from a poem I wrote in high school about bisexual erasure I experienced from an ex-partner and others,” he shared.

“I’m a spoken word poet and the hands are meant to represent the audience reaction, especially those of other bisexual folks who would approach me after performances and share their story with me.”

He shared the poem, which he delivered at the Toronto Poetry Slam Finals in 2015.

“The original full line is ‘it’s okay to love boys or girls, but when you change ‘or’ to ‘and’, nobody believes you.'”

He added, “I was 15 when I wrote this, so over 10 years ago. Still it means a lot to me that others want to hear it!”

The bisexual loveseat, in addition to the non-binary and genderfluid loveseats, were designed by Charlotte Carbone, a queer woman who was the winner of the Canadian reality competition show Stitched.

The other IKEA Canada Loveseats are representing the two-spirit flag, pansexual flag, lesbian flag, the Progress Pride flag, two different renditions of the transgender flag, and the asexual flag. They were designed by Madison Van Rijn, Ali Haider (not the singer), and Bianca Daniela Nachtman. Van Rijn and Nachtman are queer, while Haider is described as an ally.

The ten seats are not actually available for purchase, but they will be on display in select stores, according to IKEA Canada’s website. The actual loveseats were also featured in a video released last week by the company.

The stories of ten LGBTQ+ people, including Lanigan, were shared while they sat on the loveseat designs they inspired.

While the designs had a much more meaningful backstory than many assumed, the explanation, unfortunately, came well after they became the source of Twitter users’ ire or humor.

Lanigan got in on some of the jokes too, though.

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