We Are All Just Out Here Trying to Cope With These LGBTQ Ikea Couches

Recently, Ikea debuted their Pride collection, which was a series of artistically decorated couches decorated to represent various queer identities! That is… nice, I guess? Why has this year’s pride felt even more corporate and straight than every other year when it’s extremely corporate and straight?

Anyway, we had a lot to unpack here. I do want to note that our jokes are centered around the couches themselves and not anyone’s identities, and that as a goth older sister I legally reserve the right to make jokes about the siblings of goth sisters.


Stef: Has everyone, uh, seen these?

A collage of Ikea couches, decorated in the various colors of different gay pride flags.

terrifying bisexual couch aside, I appreciate that the lesbian one looks inspired by flamingos and urine

Nicole: I was gonna say
I don’t think i can deal with a couch covered in hands telling me “nobody believes you”

Shelli: What is going on with the asexual couch my god

Rachel: I loved the progress couch’s work in Annihilation

Stef: I think the asexual couch is kinda cute? like a geode? but hideous?

Tracy: The progress one creeps me out. Like that couch would have to be in a really damp environment to start to grow plants.

Shelli: I feel like it’s gonna eat me and not in a good way.

Stef: Rachel and I have talked about how the odds are stacked against bisexual graphic design, this couch is not helping

Heather: oh wow Étoile has that trans couch in her house in Animal Crossing!

A screenshot of the video game Animal Crossing with what looks to be an almost direct replica of the Ikea trans pride couch

Nicole: @stef nobODy bELieVes yOu

Rachel: I love that ours (the bisexual couch) is the only one w text bc someone in design was like “they’re gonna want it to talk about erasure, trust me”

Nicole: Is the non-binary couch like, wearing a couch harness?

Stef: yes, yes it is

Christina: apparently they are ~^~^art^~^~^~ installations and not like, for sale?

Valerie: the bisexual couch looks like a threat

Stef: I know they’re Ikea loveseats so like the bar isn’t high, but none of them look pleasant to sit on. Which one would you say is the scariest one?

Christina: something about the ace one feels like it is going to swallow you into another dimension?
Which… could rock?

Meg: the fact that the bisexual couch has erasure written on it and also creepy hands covering the armrests is deeply terrifying

Heather: oh my god is this why all caps NOBODY BELIEVES YOU is trending on twitter?!

Stef: it is, yes
that is unfortunately how I found it

Heather: 😬

Meg: I hate it
THE COUCHES ARE HOMOPHOBIC, BOB FROM IKEA

Rachel: I like seats as a verb here
love wins? love SEATS

Meg: love needs to sit down

Rachel: the most homophobic part is that we all have to work today when i could instead be doing bits about these couches for a solid 8 hours

Stef: yeah probably someone was like “you all need to take several seats” and someone in a boardroom was like WAIT I HAVE AN IDEA

Christina: i keep seeing all these QRTs of what I can only imagine are 16 year olds like “EXCUSE ME THESE CREATORS ARE QUEER, THIS ART MATTERS”

Stef: I do appreciate the video of like an actual asexual person sitting on the asexual couch talking about how much community they feel

Christina: I will say, that couch is the most I have liked the lesbian flag colors, maybe ever?

Stef: the asexual geode is made of some kind of like, tulle?
in my last apartment in bushwick the mold in the bathroom ceiling was so bad we had mushrooms growing in there, i imagine that is the origin of the progress couch

Valerie: the genderfluid couch looks like the map at the beginning of a fantasy novel. which isn’t a necessarily a bad thing but seems unrelated.

Stef: honestly kind of offended by the obvious difference in effort that went into the bisexual couch vs pansexual couch
like the pansexual couch was already in someone’s dorm room

Rachel: we also really haven’t devoted enough attention to what’s happening w the nonbinary flag,
nonbinary people i am so sorry

Stef: those two have very strong “i forgot to do my homework and half assed it during homeroom” energy

Rachel: it is… fur? but also plaid?

Valerie: the lesbian couch looks like it’s from a DIY tiktok for how to modernize your hand-me-down couch with kool-aid and paint rollers

Drew: Why do trans people get two?
What did we do to deserve that??

Stef: the one with clouds is kinda like a baby mobile? like it’s for a nursery
oh i zoomed in on the art in the other

A close up of the trans pride couch, in pink and blue colors depicting line drawings of various images

tag yourself i’m the three flowers surrounding a boot???

Ro: Is it just me or is there a weird amount of explicit binary imagery depicted on that couch??

Drew: When I haven’t shaved my hands for a couple weeks

A close up of a hairy hand in pink, from the trans pride Ikea couch

Valerie: I thought they were child drawings before you zoomed in! I assumed it was trans kids and trans adults! alas!
WHAT IS THAT HAND

Stef: bedbugs

Drew: Hairy trans girl hand 😔

Valerie: Does that one person have rabbit ears?

Meg: why do the sun and moon have legs and arms
this is so distressing

Drew: Common side effect of T

Stef: this does feel like, ok if you asked a cis person who doesn’t know any trans people to come up with some relatable art
“what are they into? butterflies? disco balls?”

Meg: just put some keys and plants on there, it’ll make sense

Stef: “eyeshadow, they definitely like eyeshadow”

Nicole: the trans couch is giving me country store gift shop energy, do you know?
like a designer just putting everything they can think of onto a textile pattern

Stef: yes like if nobody told you this couch was to represent trans people
and you saw this couch

Meg: oh totally, I could see it in the Vermont country store in front of a window with frilly lace curtains

Stef: your aunt would buy it
I googled one of the artists and found this interview

[Q]: Who or what has been a strong influence on you throughout your life?
[A]: One of the more life-altering influences has been my sister; being Goth, she has always been the most genuine person.

Drew: WHERE IS THE GOTH COUCH

Stef: where is MY representation

Christina: My sister being goth
opened my EYES

Stef: I hope my brother tells people the same thing all the time

Ro: Goth is actually the “G” in LGBTQ and WE HAVE BEEN ERASED.

Meg: my rage, it is boundless
give us the goth love seat

Stef: I’m on my goth couch right now
I am a little sad it doesn’t have a harness like the nonbinary couch, seems like it should right?
my couch went to bound on friday

Meg: yeah I think I need my goth couch needs a harness, or at least a harnessed pillow

Stef: oh there it is
maybe the black feathered cushion like the two spirit couch

Meg: ooh yes
throw a harness on it and you’ve got yourself a goth couch

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Stef Schwartz is a founding member and the self-appointed Vapid Fluff Editor at Autostraddle.com. She currently resides in New York City, where she spends her days writing songs nobody will ever hear and her nights telling much more successful musicians what to do. Follow her on twitter and/or instagram.

Stef has written 463 articles for us.

36 Comments

  1. these couches have such community college art exhibition energy (with big apologies to all of the *good* art i’ve seen at community college art shows), like the confidence is there, but what would jodi lerner say?

    • To match the non binary couch harness, of course.

      Come visit my Etsy shop, Bisexual Depressive Sofa-masochism, for everything you might need to keep your love seated

  2. do you know how angry i was when i realized i could not buy these!! i desperately need that gaslighty horror movie bi couch!

    i have been Going Through It in re: pride couches all day thank god i have autostraddle here with the hardhitting content i deserve

  3. Honestly, besides the rainbow flag and trans flag, 100% of pride flags are hideous af and clearly designed by teenagers with no sense of color theory, which is reflected in these couches.

    The only one I’d want is the flower one.

  4. I’ve been stressing about the side effects of T lately, so Drew’s comment literally had me falling off my seat laughing. I’ll have to add anthropomorphic astral bodies to my list of things to worry about.

  5. The trans couches and the 2spirit one are genuinely cute though. I would absolutely buy the one with the clouds and rainbow on it even though that’d be awkward to lounge on.
    The genderfluid flag is just a standard IKEA couch that would be the go-to statement piece of every 19-year-old “lifestyle influencer”.

  6. I’m I alone in seeing something really different from a geode in the asexual sofa?

    And I’m kind of jealous at the bi flag, because I like those colours and I do not like the lesbian flag at all :( I’ll just stick to rainbow’s everywhere.

  7. The first trans one looks uncomfortably similar the godawful couch that for some inexplicable reason was in the backyard of the apartment I shared with my worst ex and that our upstairs neighbors kept saying they’d get rid of and never did

  8. The non-binary couch seems ill thought out. Clearly delineated sections separated by distinct lines? When I think non-binary, I think five narrow boxes to sit in!

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