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My Two Moms: Everything I Needed to Know…

My Two Moms: Everything I Needed to Know About Gay Marriage I Learned in…

by Zach Wahls

Other authors: Bruce Littlefield

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Zach Wahls is an Eagle Scout, an entrepreneur, a debater, an activist, a brother, and a son. In this book, he talks about the values he was raised on, values that were reinforced by his time in Scouting. Wahls is an impressive young man, and I was fascinated by his parents' intentionality in raising their son to know right from wrong and to be a voice for what he believes in. It's what I hope I'm doing with my two sons.

But none of this is what gained Zach Wahls the publicity that he's recently enjoyed - an appearance on The Daily Show, a slot at the Democratic National Convention. Zach Wahls became famous when his testimony before the Iowa House of Representatives went viral. Zach was speaking out in favor of marriage equality because he was raised by two moms. Zach has since become an activist for LGBT rights, and he argues for marriage equality like the champion debater he is, putting forth logical arguments to support his points.

But it is his personal experience that really sets this book apart. It is clear that Zach's moms, Terry and Jackie, were excellent parents even while dealing with Terry's struggles with MS. They were not able to be legally married for most of Zach's childhood, but as Zach says that didn't stop them from being a family. ". . . the sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us." It did stop them from enjoying the rights of a married couple, however, until in 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court struck down the ban on same-sex marriage. ( )
  porch_reader | Aug 28, 2013 |
Originally saw this young man on youtube in his speech he gave. The book demonstrates the misunderstandings and prejudice that comes from those that are against same sex unions. I recommended this book to all of my facebook friends and family. Well written, giving us insight that many of us might not have. ( )
  KWoman | Dec 7, 2012 |

Zach Wahls skyrocketed to fame in 2011 when, at the age of 19, he testified before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee regarding a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. He stood up in defence of his family, of his two lesbian moms, and of himself as a child of gay parents who turned out just fine after all. "If I was your son, Mr. Chairman," he said. "I believe I'd make you very proud." His testimony was uploaded to YouTube and went viral almost instantly.

My Two Moms is about Zach Wahls' family. It's about what led up to his testimony in Iowa. But mostly it's about Zach Wahls, a twenty-year-old who has had, for the most part, an incredibly easy life. Yes, he's had some instances of embarrassment over having gay parents (my mom's not gay and I spent half my childhood being embarrassed by her for one reason or another--that's what kids do) and he's experienced the incredible pain of seeing one of his parents battle a serious illness (his mom Terri has MS, which is definitely painful for the whole family, but this kind of hardship is certainly not exclusive to gay parents). In fact, if you were to describe Zach Wahls based on the characteristics that are most important to who he is, you'd probably say he's a twenty-year-old student, an Eagle Scout (he mentions that on nearly every page of the book), a giant nerd (he comes by it honestly--his parents walked down the aisle to the theme from Star Trek Voyager), a child of loving parents, a debate champion, a minor internet celebrity and budding entrepreneur, and oh yeah, his moms are gay.

The result of writing an autobiography when you're twenty years old and have had such perfectly pleasant life so far is that you quickly run out of things to say. Wahls often waxes poetic on the great questions of life--love, dating, politics, religion, human nature--and the result is about what you would expect from somebody who was still a teenager a month or so ago. It's optimistic and overly confident, the writing of someone certain he has it all figured out because he's, well, twenty frigging years old. At other times he tries to fill out the book with tales of childhood trauma. There's nearly an entire chapter devoted to a bad dream he used to have about a velociraptor. It's a pretty charmed life you've led if when pressed for tales of woe you start with, "There was this bad dream I used to have..."

But I guess that's sort of the point. Zach Wahls hasn't had a hard life. He hasn't even had a particularly interesting life (sorry Zach, I don't mean you're boring, nor is your book boring). He's just really, really normal. He's a straight guy raised by two gay moms and he's absolutely normal. He's definitely better adjusted than I was at twenty (or thirty). The fact that he was raised by loving parents has everything to do with who he is. The fact that those parents are two lesbians seems a LOT more important to everyone else than it is to him.

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from Edelweiss (Above the Tree Line). I was asked to write an honest review, though not necessarily a favourable one. The opinions expressed are strictly my own. ( )
1 vote | Jul 14, 2012 | edit |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Zach Wahlsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Littlefield, Brucesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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An advocate and son of same-gender parents recounts his famed address to the Iowa House of Representatives on civil unions, and describes his positive experiences of growing up in an alternative family in spite of prejudice.

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