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

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  789 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews
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 pa
ebook, 256 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Gotham Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jun 01, 2012 Zoe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I want to make it clear: I think Zach Wahls is a great guy. He’s smart, articulate, brave, and endearing. He’s got a great sense of humor and a nice, hard jawline. He would undoubtedly wipe the floor with me in any kind of serious debate, so I’m hoping I never find myself in one with him. That said, I have some problems with the paradigm of his book, My Two Moms, in which he shares stories about his childhood in a home with lesbian mothers, Terry and Jackie.

Their family’s story is moving and Zac
Jun 19, 2012 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Objectively, I should give this book 4 stars: 5 for content, 3 for writing and pacing, but I'm letting my heart have the lion's share of the vote on this one.

First, my quibbles: the author uses the 12 principles/character traits he learned in Boy Scouting to talk about his upbringing and civil rights for gays. The problem is that he jumps all over the place chronologically, and it is very hard to keep track of what else is going on in his life at certain junctures. For example, he talks about w
Jessie Potts
May 02, 2012 Jessie Potts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning this book contains a same sex couple who feels like it’s their right to be able to raise a child.

While that may seem like a dumb statement I feel like it should be said again. If same sex couples raising children isn’t something you believe in, and you don’t want to open your mind then pass on this book. For the rest of you out there this was a touching a sweet story of Zach Wahls and his two mothers.

Wahls was on the Daily show, which originally got me interested in reading his book. He
May 16, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fair warning: I am biased. I know this author. He babysits my kids. He even mentions he was supposed to babysit for us the night he went to speak at the Iowa House (on page 203). He is awesome and I hope he always connects with my kids and is someone they aspire to be like.

What I LOVE about the book itself is that he digs into his life experience with his family and illustrates the "values" his family has. It is beautiful. It gives me hope. And I truly hope his new campaign "Out to Dinner" works
Jun 25, 2012 Jenna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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I've shied away from reviewing any books that may be seen as politically controversial on this blog but this book was too good to pass up for a review. As some of you have read this may know already, I am as liberal as they come. I interned for the very progressive Senator Feingold while in college and will passionately defend my beliefs to the death.

But this book opened up even my eyes to things about the LGBT movement I had never considered
Kara Thomas
Jun 21, 2012 Kara Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first heard of Zach Wahls when his testimony went viral. I learned that he had written this book while watching The Daily Show. I put a copy on hold for myself from the library and I must say that it had the fewest amount of holds for any book that I have requested after seeing it on the Daily Show. I must say that I agree with him that one day I think my son's generation will wonder what the big deal was about allowing gay's the right to marry--just as I now do about segregation or interracia ...more
Nov 30, 2012 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: curious about civil rights.
Recommended to Joan by: My son Martin
I don't know that the writing deserves 4 stars to be real honest. However, the kid's courage and love deserves the 4 stars. He is a child of two parents who happen to be women. One is both his and his younger sister's biological mother. The other is her longtime partner who happens to be female. He states over and over again that his mothers' sexuality had no effect on his character. Their beliefs and moral stance had everything to do with his character, but not their sex. He adores the boy scou ...more
Carly Drake
Written by Zach Wahls, the son of a lesbian couple from Iowa, this book paints a picture of Zach's upbringing as an attempt to show the world (1) that his moms' sexuality had no bearing on his character, and (2) that he turned out just fine.

Let me just say that gay marriage is absolutely a non-issue to me. I'm on board. Let everybody get married already.

But this book was really awful. I read it in a hurry because I couldn't even handle the first page, but was committed to finishing it because it
Sep 20, 2012 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to say, off the bat, I didn't finish this book. In fact, I probably made it less than a quarter of the way through. It wouldn't have terrible to keep going, but I already felt as if I got the gist, and I wanted to spend my reading time elsewhere.

I guess my biggest complaint was just that the author is very young, and it shows. The concept behind his story is good, and I think it's good that he's sharing, but I just don't think he was quite ready for prime time memoirs. He has a tendency
Heidi Gonzalez
Jun 15, 2012 Heidi Gonzalez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was moved when I saw Zach Wahls address the Iowa Judiciary Committee it was hard to believe he was only 19 years old. Wahls book is about his family. Growing up with two moms and how although he doesn't have anything to compare it to he thinks it wasn't too much different than the way a lot of kids grow up. Sure there were times when he was picked on, or bullied because his family was different and there were times when he hid that he had two moms because he didn't want to be seen as different ...more
Jun 30, 2012 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A young man gives more than a glimpse into his family life comprised of two moms and a younger sister. His moms used a parenting book on values by the Mormon couple Linda and Richard Eyre to help lead discussions at dinner time on what was expected of their children and why. His moms were also active in the cub and troop level in scouting where Zach achieved the rank of Eagle. He points out that his family is like any other where the struggle, love, and try to be good citizens.
Zach also points
Jul 18, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I really enjoyed this book. I love hearing people's stories and Zach definitely had a story to tell. He is very insightful for someone his age and does a great job putting his thoughts to paper. This is the story of Zach Walls who was raised by lesbian parents and through stories from his life he illustrates how he was raised with a good value system.

As another reviewer stated Zach does often interrupt one story to tell another one, from some other time in his life, and then return to the origin
Aug 19, 2012 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you grew up lucky enough to have two parents who loved you and taught you how to be a good person, then you have something in common with Zach Wahls. You might not have two moms like he does, but that doesn't really matter. At all. I was lucky enough that my two loving parents taught me that love is love, there is nothing wrong with same gendered couples and I have been lucky to always have great same sex couples in my life. If you know someone who isn't as lucky, but has at least a bit of an ...more
Molly G
Even when you're already convinced of something, it's always good to keep expanding and refining your outlook. And sometimes it's just really cool and refreshing to hear/read things, which you may already think, expressed incredibly well. Plus, there's always more you hadn't thought of! Wahls's Speech & Debate and journalism experience show in his writing. Well constructed, well thought-out, well founded, and very engaging. There was a moment in the last third of the book where for some reas ...more
Steve Fox
This book is by the young man who was a YouTube sensation after testifying before the Iowa legislature about being raised by two moms - in support of same-sex marriage. He has a great story. The book doesn't capture it as well as his video - part of what makes his story great is that he's this tall, handsome, white, well-spoken young man in support of something that is all too often stereotyped. He busts all those stereotypes. A great message, but the book could do a much better job of telling t ...more
Sara Jane
Jul 12, 2012 Sara Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such an important (and surprisingly inspirational) book. It was a delight to read a book by a former student, too. WSS represent!
Zach Wahls is the poster child for the modern family movement; the child of two gay women who raised him and his sister in Iowa, he represents everything that is right about parenting, and parenting that has very little to do with biological ties. He walks the reader through the pillars of the Boy Scouts of America (quite ironically given their recent anti-equality stance), coupling each element with narrative stories of his upbringing and rational explanations for true acceptance in our country ...more
John E
Feb 25, 2013 John E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Utilizing the 12 tenets of the Boy Scout Law [a Boy Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, etc.] – albeit out of order – Zach Wahls takes us on a riviting journey of his life [thus far] as a male being reared by two women who not only love each other but who have, through their own journeys, found their own senses of dignity, integrity and decency and passed those qualities onto their son and daughter. Even in the mid 1990's, Zach expertly conveys the anxiety and trepidation that a six year-old f ...more
Jun 07, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zach Wahls became somewhat of an internet sensation awhile back after his testimony in front of the Iowa House Judiciary Committee regarding gay marriage was posted on YouTube. Zach was raised by two moms and testified that the fact that he had two parents of the same sex had nothing to do with the content of his character.

In this book Wahls recounts the story of his life growing up as the son of two mothers, and how that experience did and did not shape his life. Ultimately his conclusion is t
Jan 04, 2016 D'Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Zach Wahls is adorable and his moms are no doubt so proud of him. I was super excited to read this book and had it on my Amazon wishlist months before it came out. Now that I've read it, I'm glad that I did, but I'm also glad that I'm done with it. Wahls writes with compassion and humor about his family and those parts of the book are worth reading. However, he gets pretty preachy at times. I am obviously the choir, I get it. There are people who need to hear how gays and lesbians deserve equal ...more
Aneel Trivedi
Aug 12, 2012 Aneel Trivedi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm very impressed with Zach Wahls. I'd love to read more from him as he gets older.

I found Zach's struggle with his mom's sickness to be the most compelling part of the story. As I think back on my own experience with a terminally ill parent, I can't help but love this kid and deeply respect his attitude and maturity. If I had to deal with a system that refused to recognize my healthy parent's rights in the hospital, I would have almost certainly grown bitter. He seemed to acknowledge the blata
Jun 20, 2012 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw Zach Wahls on the Ellen DeGeneres show recently. At 19 he had appeared in front of Iowa politicians at a public hearing about Gay marriages. He is a child of two lesbian moms, who spoke with such wisdom and strength, and I had to admire his composure.

In NZ we have had civil unions for gays and lesbians for quite a few years, giving equal rights hopefully for our gay friends. To be honest, I wonder what all the fuss is in other countries. It hasn't made any families fall apart here, the wor
Jun 20, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a gift. I had heard Zach Walhs testimony to the Iowa legislature back in 2009 and I thought it was impressive but I don't think i would have picked up the book on my own.

I though the young man expressed himself well and I appreciated the logical formulation of his arguments and how he related his experience to the politics of the issue of same sex marriage.

Though I thought the book was readable and would probably recommend it, I thought it dragged in a few places where the voice w
Sep 02, 2012 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in two days. It was an easy read and kept my interest. I think he makes some excellent points.

His chapters on kindness and courtesy helped me to examine my own life and figure out how I can be more kind and gracious even under difficult circumstances.

I don't understand at all why gay marriage is such a volatile subject. Ti seems obvious to me that anyone should be allowed to be married and given the rights that marriage entails. It breaks my heart to read how Terry was in pain
Sarah Chamberlain
May 12, 2012 Sarah Chamberlain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zach Wahls was a state champion debater in high school, an athlete and an Eagle Scout. Majoring in civil engineering in college he founded Iowa City Learns, a service whose purpose is elevating academic achievement, and is the CFO of a solar financing start-up company. Oh, and he is 20 and has two mothers. Organizing his book into chapters based upon the Scout motto (Be prepared), the 12 Scout laws, the Scout oath, and the Scout slogan (Do a good turn daily) Wahls writes convincingly from his ow ...more
Brenna Cronin
May 31, 2012 Brenna Cronin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 25-in-2012
WONDERFUL!! I'm so happy that I stumbled on Zach's memoir. In a season of discovering, I found his testaments to be incredibly grounded and sincere. His story is empowering - especially the examples of his parents making medical decisions for each other - all while battling a god-awful disease. Family is indeed, the community you create - whether that's the family you gain by joining the boy scouts, the family that arrives after you're already born, or the family you find after your emotional an ...more
Mary Vermillion
Jul 03, 2012 Mary Vermillion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbt
I hope that lots of people read this book. It makes a powerful case for marriage quality. Zach Wahls is a gifted, principled young man, who was raised by two strong and dedicated women.

Although the book is occassionally preachy (in part because it's organized around Boy Scout principles), most of the time MY TWO MOMS is inspirational, thought-provoking, and funny. Wahls makes a particularly good point about the importance of listening.

As an Iowa Citian, I enjoyed reading about an Iowa City fami
Jun 11, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, society
there has rarely been a more compelling arguement that gay couples can raise happy, well-adjusted children than zach wahls. in each chapter, based on one of the tenents of the boy scout law, wahls offers thoughful, reasoned arguements by sharing stories from his own family life. his moms, jackie and terry, are remarkable parents - not because they're gay, but because they were determined to raise responsible, kind, happy children.

this is a great look at a family life that is exceptional for its
♥ Amanda
Jun 26, 2012 ♥ Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first saw Zach Wahls on Ellen, and then found the YouTube video afterward. For someone so young, he is so well versed! I imagine his moms are very proud of him, as well as most that know him personally. In the book, he talks about what it was like for him growing up, and also what his life is like since making his speech. For someone that isn't an author, I was captivated by his story and how well written it was. He's definitely going places, and one to watch for. America, and the world, need ...more
I listened to this as an audio book. It is a memoir written by a young man who became famous after his tear-jerking testimony to the Iowa state government defending is two moms during that state's debate on marriage equality. It is a sweet story, although a little saccharine at times. One of his moms has MS and some of the most touching parts of the book describe his family's coping with her disease. Of course, I couldn't help thinking about my own sons while I listened to the book. At one point ...more
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