A resounding testament to individuality and the power of family in all forms from the young man who "lit up the Internet" (Ellen DeGeneres) On January 31, 2011, Zach Wahls addressed the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in a public forum regarding full marriage equality. The nineteen-year-old son of a same-sex couple, Wahls proudly proclaimed, "The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character." Hours later, his speech was posted on YouTube, where it went viral, quickly receiving more than two million views. By the end of the week, everyone knew his name and wanted to hear more from the boy with two moms. Same-sex marriage will be a major--possibly the defining--issue in this year's election cycle, and Wahls speaks to that, but also to a broader issue. Sure, he's handsome and athletic, an environmental engineering student, and an Eagle Scout. Yet, growing up with two moms, he knows what it's like to feel different and to fear being made fun of or worse. In the inspirational spirit of It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller, My Two Moms also delivers a reassuring message to same-sex couples, their kids, and anyone who's ever felt like an outsider: "You are not alone."
Publisher's Weekly Review
In 2011, Wahls, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout and engineering student, stood before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee on civil unions and declared that "the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character." Here, Wahls follows up on what would become a viral video of his testimony with this memoir and written defense of his moms. Wahls considers a different value in each chapter (following those espoused by the Boy Scout motto, law, oath, and slogan), including obedience, kindness, reverence, helpfulness, loyalty, thriftiness, and bravery, and tells what he has learned through situations he's encountered with family and friends regarding his nontraditional family. "I'm not gay, but I know how it feels to be in the closet," he writes of his sometimes veiled responses when asked as a child about his father. Wahls reflects on bullies and bullying, family values, Unitarian-Universalism (of which he is an adherent), the impact of chronic disease on the family (one of his moms has MS), and the reality of a marriage between women. Wahls has a fresh voice, and while still relatively young, his evenhandedness and willingness to use his own experiences to address larger social issues is admirable and will likely appeal to all walks of life. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Zach Wahls is a twenty-year-old engineering student at the University of Iowa. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Bruce Littlefield is a bestselling author and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times , People , and the Chicago Tribune , among other publications. He lives in New York City.