Corey Coloma serves on the KindTree Board of Directors and the Communications Committee, where his responsibilities include scheduling posts for our Facebook and Twitter accounts. He is also is the Director of Operations and a Board Member of Twainbow.
The month of June is nationally recognized as Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall Riots as well as the fight for equal rights for members of the LGBTQI+ community. The month is devoted to spreading awareness for the community and recognizing that there is still a long way to go for equality.
Within the community, many different identities coexist and intersect. The term “double rainbow” has come to signify the intersection of identities between the LGBTQI+ and ASD communities.
Twainbow is a non-profit organization that brings awareness to this double rainbow, both for people under it and on the outside. The organization offers resources for individuals under the double rainbow and creates a sense of community for queer people on the autism spectrum.
Corey Coloma is the Director of Operations and a Board Member of Twainbow. He also lives under the double rainbow. When he isn’t working at Twainbow, Coloma works for a non-profit in Eugene, Oregon as a Direct Support Professional to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
We asked him a few questions about his journey to discovering he lived under a double rainbow and his hopes for Twainbow in the future.
AAA: What inspired the creation of Twainbow?
CC: We wanted to bring awareness to the autistic segment of the LGBTQI+ community. Twainbow was formed to provide a clearinghouse of information regarding LGBT-ASD social support, the latest news, and research.
AAA: What motivated you to join Twainbow?
CC: I have many skills with graphic design and desktop publishing. I created the autism pride flag that was voted on in 2016. I have always thrived with my organizational skills doing things that others never thought of. I have a really incredible strength with my advanced perceptual reasoning skills to find solutions and problem solve. In life when no one else would lead I stood up and created the path. When others were overwhelmed I found a way and brought them through it. I’ve always had a mind for numbers and financials. When Louis, the founder, asked me if I would like to be a part of this new endeavor I knew that it was destined to be something great with all of us working together.
AAA: When did you realize you lived under a double rainbow?
CC: I knew from a very young age that I was attracted to men. I came out to my family around the age of twenty-one as a gay man. I didn’t know I was autistic until about the age of 30 when I was diagnosed with Asperger’s. I came out to friends and family on Facebook shortly after my diagnosis of Asperger’s. I had never heard the term Asperger’s before and then a friend of mine came out to me as being diagnosed with Asperger’s. I began to research and realized how much it described me and then I took an online test that is linked to Twainbow’s website. That’s when I started my formal diagnosis process. You can read my story on our website.
AAA: How has living under a double rainbow affected the way you navigate the world?
CC: There is a lot of stigma for being a member of the LGBTQI+ community like myself that identifies as a Gay man and there has been even more since I came out as autistic. I never realized how much that was true until I disclosed that I am Autistic.