Iowa | News | Zach Wahls

Zach Wahls Speaks Out About His Iowa Speech Going Viral, Twice


Back in February I posted Zach Wahls' speech to the Iowa legislature about his gay moms. No doubt most of you have seen it. What wasn't clear until recently was how many people hadn't.

Zach writes, for the first time since the video went viral again, in The Daily Beast:

In the immediate aftermath of the hearing, the video leapt to a million hits and thrust my family and me into the limelight for the first time. People were trying to figure out who was this kid from Iowa (Iowa?!?) and how two lesbians (Tall Mom and Short Mom) in the middle of the American heartland had managed to raise a normal family.

This past week, the video got a second wind after the site decided to post it. The video has now managed to rack up more than 15 million hits in all.

MytwomomsWahls also talks about his favorite reaction to the video, and the book he is at work on about his moms.

Upon the book’s release in the spring of 2012, I’ll be working with a number of nonprofit organizations to roll out an advocacy campaign with the hopes of finally erasing the stigma that some people still associate with two-mom or two-dad families and with the gay community in general. With your help, I think we’ll be able to finally make this “issue” a nonissue, and I’ll finally get to go back to studying engineering.

As crazy and awesome as this ride has been so far, I had decided to temporarily suspend my studies to focus on advocacy work because of a Facebook message I received back in February. At the guy’s request, I’m withholding his name, but here it is, verbatim: “man, i just watched your video on youtube. being from the south, the deep south, I have been raised ‘anti-gay.’ Pardon the slur. but that completely changed my view on the subject. Just amazing. Im leaving for the army in two weeks and was pretty upset about don’t ask don’t tell being repealed but again you changed my view on that. I just thought it would be nice for you to know you truley opened someones eyes. Thank you.”

His is certainly one of the best stories to come out of 2011.

Watch his speech again if you havent, AFTER THE JUMP...

Iowa Student Zach Wahls: Why I'm Defending My Two Moms [daily beast]

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  1. I feel so proud of our young when I listen to this young man speak he truth from his heart. He never had to mention God once. He spoke to the people within the room about humans and human interaction and the results of good parenting, no matter who the loving parents are.

    Damn I'm proud!

    Posted by: Dale | Dec 6, 2011 10:53:12 AM

  2. American hero

    Posted by: redball | Dec 6, 2011 10:55:05 AM

  3. I would love to read his story. Looking forward to the book.

    Posted by: Drew | Dec 6, 2011 10:55:51 AM

  4. Kim Kardashian is a greater threat to the sanctity of marriage than is Zach's two moms.

    Posted by: Chadd | Dec 6, 2011 11:07:18 AM

  5. Fantastic! Good for him, glad he's keeping up the good work and getting his story out there.

    Posted by: Christian | Dec 6, 2011 11:32:32 AM

  6. Has this ever happened to an internet video before? It went viral and then months later it went viral a second time to about 10X as many people.

    Posted by: Dave | Dec 6, 2011 11:36:07 AM

  7. More on Zach, less on Bachman!!!

    Posted by: Rick | Dec 6, 2011 11:52:14 AM

  8. so they raised him to look like a frat boy and sell his story out for the highest bidder..... and he is called a hero...

    how american!

    Posted by: V-8 | Dec 6, 2011 12:00:08 PM

  9. V-8, it actually sounds like he might not have gone into this planning to write a book.

    He certainly could not have known he'd go viral on Youtube.

    Save the vitriol for the nasty bigots on the Right who sell their hatred to the highest bidder (e.g., Gingrich making $60,000 PER SPEECH, Palin making $70,000 PER SPEECH, etc.).

    This man is doing good work and American society will hopefully reap the benefits.

    Posted by: redball | Dec 6, 2011 12:11:06 PM

  10. We really need Zach to go into politics - run for Congress then on to the White House. I know we are all very proud of this young man.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Dec 6, 2011 12:16:39 PM

  11. re: my last comment--make that $75,000 for Palin. plus all the luxury accoutrements

    In any case, folks like Gingrich & Palin make much more than the median annual HH income in one speech...for being champions of hate & inequality.

    Mad _now_, V-8? LOL

    Posted by: redball | Dec 6, 2011 12:22:12 PM

  12. I had not watched this before. What a great presentation! What a wonderful advocate for family equality. His Moms must be very proud!

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Dec 6, 2011 12:33:19 PM

  13. The soldier who responded to him... man, that put a lump into my throat. Fantastic stuff.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Dec 6, 2011 12:40:11 PM

  14. People like Zach are the biggest fear that anti-gay crowd has. Thank God there is a whole generation of kids like him (my 3 kids included) who are approaching adulthood. We need to show these kids more. The world needs to know that we raise fine children and that anti-gay laws and the lack of marriage hurt real families with children.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 6, 2011 1:11:21 PM

  15. He seems like a great kid, someone his moms can really be proud of. I am interested, though, in how he reconciles his (so far) continuing membership in the Boy Scouts with his activism for gay rights? The BSA doesn't allow gay boys to be scouts; nor does it allow gay men or lesbians to be scout leaders. Wahls' beloved mothers wouldn't be allowed to hold any leadership positions in his troop or the larger BSA organization. Given his book's subtitle and his obvious concern for gay rights issues, I hope he addresses this at some point in his memoir.

    Posted by: Thomasina | Dec 6, 2011 2:05:16 PM

  16. Okay, I know that a bunch of you pathetic, middle-aged queens are going to jump all over me for saying this, but I mean, really? Yeah, this kid is a hero, don't get me wrong. But I just wonder that if he wasn't some hunky, athletic, good-looking Abercrombie & Fitch clone if y'all would be worshiping so devotedly at his feet. He'd be 1/100th as popular around here if he were short and chubby and plain-looking, me thinks. I just think that there's a lot of sillness and shallowness amongst the bitches here; sorry to have to say it, but hey, Tank's gotta keep it real!

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 6, 2011 5:30:46 PM

  17. We can always count on Tank to bring us back to our senses. You go Tankers!

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Dec 6, 2011 6:01:15 PM

  18. I live in Iowa City (where Zach is from) and rumor has it that he has some gender identity issues and that he broke up with his last girlfriend due to wearing women's clothing while in bed with her. Again, just rumors, but it kind of flies in the face of the whole frat boy image that is projected.

    Posted by: KD | Dec 6, 2011 9:34:26 PM

  19. Okay, I hate to admit it, but I must have been off my meds when I made that last post. Sometimes when that happens I sort of unleash my self-hating queen side and so I make mean-spirited posts like that. It was wrong of me to try to tear down a real hero like Zach with unsubstantied vicious gossip. I just wanted to say the record straight here no pun intended. Now for a nice cup of organic poppy seed tea.

    Posted by: KD | Dec 6, 2011 10:27:01 PM

  20. @Joe Singer: Thanks for the kind words, my man! It's nice to know some of the readers around here have good sense. Rock on, buddy!

    @KD: You need to get a life. You probably don't even live in Illinois. And Tank is thinking you just might be that closet case Republican that used to make similar posts in these parts a while back.

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 6, 2011 11:22:27 PM

  21. What an outstanding young man. His moms did a great job raising Zach.

    Posted by: jack | Dec 6, 2011 11:45:11 PM

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