Artist Má Matiazi played on an inside joke in the bi-sexual community while designing the chair but was overjoyed at seeing it being made.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 2, 2021. It has since been updated.
That 'bisexual people can't sit straight' has been a long-standing joke in the community. It started out as a joke within the community itself before turning into a stereotype and finally becoming a meme. Bisexuals embracing the stereotype became a joke in itself, reported Pink News. Some of the other similar stereotypes include bisexuals not being able to “drive, do maths and ride a bike.” Israel Walker was well aware of the joke and decided to take it one step further by building a 'Bi-chair' for his bisexual daughter.
bi culture is not sitting properly— mila (@eIektranatchio) August 27, 2017
It all started after artist Má Matiazi, riding on the popularity of the internet joke, posted a sketch for a Bi-chair. She posted the design, featuring a person who sat with their legs bent awkwardly beneath them and wrote, "Designed for people who can't sit straight." The drawing and the design were an extension of memes of popular movie and TV characters sitting weirdly on chairs. Má Matiazi had sketched the chair as satire but the project became real as Israel Walker asked Matiazi's permission to use her design to actually make the chair. Walker made the chair and posted a picture on Facebook.
Matiazi said she had made the design as a joke but was immensely excited about the project. “It was very unexpected when he [Israel Walker] spoke to me. I was in disbelief people could be so hyped about my [crappy] sketch!" she told Bored Panda. "Israel was very kind, he spoke to me very respectfully, which is not something we’re used to as non-famous artists. People usually just come and steal our things, you know? So for being such a nice guy with such a cool daughter, well, I was excited to see this [project] done, he did a great job!" she added.
Walker was just looking to get started on a wood project along with his daughter with nothing really on his mind. It was then that he came across Matiazi's design and knew his daughter would dig it. "When I saw Má’s sketch on a fan page we are both members of, I thought: “Hey my daughter would love that!” I got a hold of Má and she said that would be fine if I made my own version, so that’s what we did,” said Walker. His daughter absolutely loves it. “My daughter loves the chair, in what I think is the standard teenager “my weird dad does cool stuff sometimes” kind of way. She is really excited about how much positive attention we’ve gotten for bi and non-binary folks,” he added. Walker didn't expect his post on the chair to blow up as it did.
Matiazi was surprised by the attention her original design post got and added that it was just a joke. She didn't think many would get it. “The concept is very simple: a ridiculous orthopedic chair for anyone who sits like a bisexual. It’s a joke inside another joke, and I thought it would be humourous for a very specific public. I confess, I thought no one would give it any attention, most of my jokes are quite forgettable!” She then joked about wishing her comics had got so much attention. After watching Walker make one for his daughter, Matiazi wants to make a life-size one for herself. “Maybe one day I’ll go for a life-sized one. I’d love to sit in a bi-chair because I made it thinking about myself.”
People really believe Lady Gaga is heterosexual? In this economy? She sits, stands and dresses like the bisexual icon she is. pic.twitter.com/Bw9eYihS1T— Elizabeth 🏴🏳️🌈 (@strengthtodream) November 18, 2018
i'm bi so these all look like totally reasonable ways to sit in a chair to me https://t.co/gFkxbaFJMA— Kat Cosgrove (@Dixie3Flatline) May 27, 2021
As a bi person I am physically incapable of sitting in chairs correctly— kean ✌🏼 (@kean_two) July 17, 2019
The new Bi flag is a person sitting in a computer chair wrong and hurting their back— Jessi Sheron makes mermaid comics (@JessiSheron) April 30, 2020
You can follow Matiazi's artwork, including her amazing comics on her website, or her Instagram page.