By Sydney Glide
The bi+ community had major mainstream visibility in one of the weirdest internet memes: the couch. Now, this isn’t to be confused with the Ikea couch, a.k.a. the other bi couch. Wow, the internet has truly been obsessed with talking about bi folks and couches. No, I am talking about the green couch meme.
If you’re unfamiliar, celebs and regular folks alike took to TikTok and Instagram to seemingly come out as bisexual by showing off their green, sometimes velvet, couch. This was prompted by a TikTok from the account @nourishedwithtish that posed the question “If you identify as bisexual… do you have a green velvet couch?” We love observational humor and a good icebreaker, too!
Admittedly, my cynicism about the internet took hold of me, especially when a meme that is all fun and games turned into what I can only assume is another moment of rainbow capitalism. Soon I saw articles galore flooding my feed about which green couch is best for your home. The Harper’s Bazaar article “The 27 Best Luxury Couches to Elevate Your Home,” written by Tatjana Fruend states, “Green velvet couches went viral on TikTok this year, so it’s no surprise that they’re now coveted pieces.” This description conveniently does not credit the community who made them famous, all the while winking at those who get it. I guess I know what the “green” in green couch stands for: $$$. Is this just Big Furniture’s attempts to sell more green couches to a targeted audience? There was finally visibility, but of course as consumers. America.
Can we ever have something without a price tag? For a community whose validity is questioned and labels limited, society found a way to reduce bi+ folks once more. Everyone is simply here to buy stuff, especially on the internet where media and commerce are so inextricably linked. As a group often plagued by the question “Am I enough?”, these shopping guides tell you that you are bi+ enough—upon purchase, of course. We all know there isn’t one way “to be” but sometimes those thoughts creep in and are perpetuated by institutions we interact with daily.
As I imagine a world free of bi erasure, prejudice, and injustices, I think to myself how much laughter a meme like this would bring me: rich models with their high-end green couches, middle-class folks with their department store sofas, and everyone in between sharing pictures. I could envision a Notes on Camp Pt. 2 where bicon Susan Sontag exclaims, “Bisexuals on green velvet couches, now that’s camp!” and feel a smile curl up on my face.
Sydney Glide (she/her) works in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and moonlights as an indie comic book writer. She loves cooking, watching sports, and buying new hats.