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Written by Megan C. Hills, CNN

IKEA Canada unveiled a series of colorful sofas inspired by different pride flags, including those representing transgender, non-binary and asexual communities.

Created to mark Pride Month, the 10 “Love Seats” were created by four LGBTQ designers and feature everything from gigantic ruffles to colorful patterns and faux flowers.

The Swedish retailer said in a press release that it hopes the campaign will honor “the richness and diversity of the 2SLGBTQ + community,” using an expanded acronym that encompasses those who identify as Two-Spirit, a Native American term for those who have both a male and female spirits.

IKEA Pride Flag Themed Sofas – Top Row: Asexual, Progress & Bottom Row: Transgender, Lesbian Credit: IKEA Canada

“Pride is more than a rainbow,” IKEA said, referring to the range of flags featured in the campaign, including the lesbian flag and the pink, yellow and blue pansexual flag. The company described the sofas as “a platform to celebrate identity and share love stories.”

Although the eye-catching designs were unveiled last week, the buzz has grown online in recent days. And while the canapes were widely celebrated, some sparked debate on social media.

In particular, a purple and pink “bisexual” sofa, designed by Charlotte Carbone, divided opinions. Taking inspiration from the colors of the bisexual flag, the sofa is upholstered in fabric in the shape of a hand and features armrests that resemble real arms.

A Twitter user said they were “haunted“near the sofa, while another edited an image of the drawing into what they called a”horror movie prop. “

More serious concerns were expressed over a phrase on the pillows: “When you change ‘or’ to ‘and’, no one believes you. ”

Pride 2021: A story of the rainbow flag

“I love and hate the bi sofa” wrote a Twitter user. “Either way, the words are the part I like least. They’re weird and make you think of biphobia, whereas the other sofas are just lovely.” The commentator nevertheless added: “The hands are just cursed and I love it.”
The sofa text was inspired by the work of spoken word creation poet Brian Lanigan, who then used Twitter to Explain its meaning. Lanigan said it came from a poem he wrote at the age of 15 about “the bisexual erasure I experienced from an ex-partner and others.”

He added that the hands were “meant to represent the reaction of the audience, especially those of other bisexual people who would approach me after the performances and share their story with me.”

The poet of the word Brian Lanigan pictured on IKEA "bisexual" sofa, which was inspired by his work.

Poet of the word Brian Lanigan pictured on IKEA’s “bisexual” sofa, inspired by his work. Credit: IKEA Canada

Other designs included a sofa based on the “Progress” flag, a variation of the more familiar rainbow flag, which features hundreds of fake flowers (top photo). One of the sofa designers took inspiration from the pinks and oranges of the lesbian flag to create a swirling watercolor pattern.
The “non-binary” sofa, a gray sofa tightly harnessed in yellow, purple and white straps, has also become a topic of discussion on Twitter. One user compared the belts to “kinkr “while another wrote:” Okay bisexual ikea couch is weird, can we talk about the non-binary bondage couch now. “
Others playfully speculated on the different types of communities that could have been represented, with a Garfield Themed Sofa proposed for “Italian pride” and canapes made of beer cans for “pure pride”.

As part of the IKEA campaign, people from all the communities depicted sat on their respective sofas while telling their personal stories on camera.

IKEA Pride Flag Themed Sofas, Left to Right: Bisexual, Non-Binary, Gender Fluid

IKEA pride flag themed sofas, left to right: bisexual, non-binary, gender fluent Credit: IKEA Canada

The company has not announced plans to sell the sofas, although some social media users have expressed interest in purchasing them. For now, the sofas are on display in select IKEA stores across Canada.

The retailer said it has a “long history” of supporting LGBTQ communities, having become the first company to broadcast a television commercial featuring a same-sex couple in the United States in 1994.


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