Zoe's Reviews > My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family

My Two Moms by Zach Wahls
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Jun 01, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012books, non-fiction

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 Zach tells it beautifully and simply. Terry wanted children but didn’t have a partner, so she got pregnant twice with the same sperm donor and had a boy, Zach, and, a few years later, a girl, Zebby. She faced several challenges, not just as a lesbian mother but as a single mother (for example, the local newspaper initially refused to run the announcement of Zach’s birth in 1991 because she was an “unwed mother”). She met Jackie a few years later; they fell in love and had a traditional gay commitment ceremony with a frustrating lack of legal bearing. Terry was diagnosed with MS in 2003, several years before she and Jackie were legally wed in Iowa. This meant that they faced humiliating hurdles in medical offices, including an excruciating night in the ER when doctors refused to listen to Jackie’s recommendations for Terry’s treatment.

So, what’s my problem with this awesome, wholesome family overcoming the odds through love and faith? Read the rest of my review here .

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Tony Hynes I completely agree with your critique, and found myself saying the same things reading this book. Zach did a great job highlighting why gay marriage should be legal. He also did a great job of giving an account of what an everyday life can be for a child adopted by a gay couple. However, I was disappointed that he felt the need to highlight the "sameness" of his family so vehemently. At the end of the day he just wants to point out that his family is no different than yours. However, being different is OK. The gay family does not need to be a perfect one, as Zach portrays in his book. Gay parents can now divorce just like straight parents, and you mention, it is possible for Gay parents to be criminals just as it is possible for heterosexual couples to be. However, none of these imperfections mean that it is ok for Gays to be denied rights. They have as much right to be horrible people as anyone else.


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