Whoever said a trip across Europe as a young adult is a waste of time didn’t meet Matt Corker. Matt is the author of the new book Getting Over the Rainbow, inspired by his own trip through the Continent.
“I was living in Copenhagen and doing my MBA and there was a gentleman in my class who turned out to be gay,” explains Corker. “He lived this double-life where he didn’t tell his gay fiends he was Mormon and his Mormon friends that he was gay.”
Spending time in class and on the trip together, Corker says the two quickly became very close and had many conversations about the way in which his friend saw the world and how that view on the world just didn’t work,
“On one of our final nights together, those conversations shifted my life and I needed to write about those conversations, and that is what sparked the book,” says Corker. “I knew what we talked about might be of value to others how they align their own identities and self-expression.”
Fast forward two and a half years, the book is now available for purchase on Amazon and his Mormon friend has a partner and is out to both family and church.
What’s in a name? Obvious gay icons aside, Corker explains that Getting Over the Rainbow is about being able to move away from a feeling of loneliness and feeling abnormal to a feeling of being loved and connected.
“Even in Vancouver where we think things are so progressive there is still lots of self-doubt about living life as a gay man and the shame and animosity among peers that goes on,” he says. “I wanted to give light to those topics that were sparked in the conversations”.
But before you think of it as yet another coming out self-help book, Corker says that his target isn’t necessarily gay men or women.
“Who I really want to read this book are the best friends of the LGBT community; allies, parents or teachers of those in the LGBT community,” says Corker. “I wanted the topic to be approachable enough in the language and idea of a different sexuality so they could feel comfortable in both understanding helping the LGBT people in their lives”.
Besides, says Corker, everyone has something to get over.
“The lawyer that wants to become a painter and they have same doubt. Or the person who really wants to go from being single to being in a committed relationship. These stories can resonate with a lot of people,” he explains. “I had three people come up to me at the book launch and talked about what it meant to them. One of my friends, talked about being Canadian and her family from Hong Kong, and the duality of being of Asian descent. She looked at it as very much as part of her story and could relate to it from her own lens. I didn’t want it just about coming out, but how we can be fully expressed as the person we want the world to be known as.”
A self-described lifestyle design consultant with a day-job at yoga clothing giant lululemon, Corker admits that he speaks only from is his own experiences, but insists that it isn’t supposed to be a guide book, but a perspective on taking a journey.
“The only authority that I have is to speak from my own experience and from stories that I have lived through,” says Corker. “While some will spend years doing research, I have 28 years of my own life as research.”
As for Corker’s own coming out experience? You’ll have to read about it in the book.
Getting Over the Rainbow is now available for purchase on Amazon.com.