My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family

My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family

4.2 23
by Zach Wahls, Bruce Littlefield
     
 

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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 of Representatives in a public forum regarding civil unions. The nineteen- year-old son of a same-sex couple, Wahls proudly proclaimed, "The sexual orientation

Overview

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 of Representatives in a public forum regarding civil unions. 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 next 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."

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.
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Library Journal
In January 2011, charming Eagle Scout and engineering student Wahls told the Iowa House of Representatives that the sexual orientation of his two moms had "zero effect" on the content of his character. His speech soon went viral. Here he expands on his life story, speaking to all those who feel like outsiders. Needed, and Wahls is a known quantity.
Kirkus Reviews
With the assistance of Littlefield (co-author: The Truth Advantage: The 7 Keys to a Happy and Fulfilling Life, 2011, etc.), Wahls writes about growing up as the son of gay parents in the heartland. In January 2011, the author, then a student at the University of Iowa, testified before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee as they considered a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. In a short speech, Wahls talked about being raised by two lesbians and how his childhood was no different than those of children raised by heterosexual couples. The speech was aimed at dismantling the myth that kids are damaged by having gay parents, and it was effective: The YouTube video of the speech was viewed more than 18 million times, and Wahls appeared on national TV talk shows, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Here the author expands on his speech, discussing the values that his parents helped to instill in him, naming chapters after aspects of the Boy Scout law: "Trustworthy," "Courteous," "Reverent." (Wahls takes pride in his scouting experience, repeatedly mentioning that he is an Eagle Scout, but he disagrees with the Boy Scouts of America's official policy banning gays from leadership positions.) Some of the author's stories are quite moving--particularly those addressing his mother Terry's multiple sclerosis--but many of Wahls' epiphanies are unsurprising: "We are more alike than we are different"; "hate has no hope of ever erasing hate"; etc. The book works best when there's more levity amidst the earnestness, as when the author humorously answers questions he's asked most frequently (e.g., "Which one of your moms is the man?"). Few minds will be changed by this book--it seems unlikely that a homophobe would read something titled My Two Moms--but Wahls' heart is in the right place. A sincere first effort that aims to chip away at stereotypes surrounding same-sex parents.
From the Publisher
"Here he expands on his life story, speaking to all those who feel like outsiders. A needed book, and Wahls is a known quantity." —Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781592407132
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/26/2012
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.36(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“This is a wonderful book. You will love it, you will weep at times. It is an incredible demonstration of the power of real values." — Jon Stewart, during an interview on The Daily Show

“He lit up the Internet when he delivered a passionate plea to the Iowa House of Representatives in support of gay marriage. Take a look at him… a hero.” — Ellen DeGeneres, host of Ellen

“He takes on every argument against marriage equality and calmly topples them.My Two Moms augurs Zach Wahls’ inevitable career in politics. America will be the better for it.” — Chronogram

“Wahls has a fresh voice.” — Publishers Weekly

“Wahls writes an inspirational book about the power of family and love, no matter what form it takes. If this kid is any indication of future generations…we are in very good hands.” — Modern Tonic

“His story is probably one of the most convincing arguments for why gay and lesbian families matter. The movement is lucky to have Wahls – who’s both smart and sensitive – as one of its newest role models.” — Philadelphia Magazine’s “G Philly” Blog

Meet the Author

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.

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My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
LoveaGoodBook0 More than 1 year ago
Amazing young man. Glad he's brave enough to tell his story, so that it might help others.
HappyFarmer More than 1 year ago
This book is much needed. It helps us understand that all families--even if they don't look like yours--want for their children happiness. Well written. Bravo, young man!
BMag More than 1 year ago
I love this book. Zach's famous speech was powerful and intelligent, and the book is too with an intimate look into his life, the values his moms taught him, and his ideas about equality. He is frank and inspirational, and delivers a strong rebuttal to every argument the opposition usually delivers. Congrats Zach! You are indeed an amazing person!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you Zach for sharing your wisdom and experience at such a young age. A line from your speech sticks in my mind in which you told the Chairman of the Iowa House committee looking to overturn marriage equality: "If I were your son, Mr. Chairman, I believe I'd make you very proud." Yes, Zach, if you were my son, you'd make me VERY proud. YOUR two moms I'm sure must be wonderful people and... very proud. Congratulations!
Joesmar More than 1 year ago
I can see why this young man was a champion high school debater because he truly is persuasive! Before reading this book, I thought I was "against" or at least not "for" same sex marriage and now I find myself having no issue with it all. He truly defines the meaning of family in this book.
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Awesome a kid in my class has his phrase in this book lol
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Y not? Did she have to go so she sent u as a substitute?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Sure, he’s handsome and athletic, an environmental engineering student, and an Eagle Scout. " Seriously? This describes the book? The guy already has an ego, stop making it bigger.