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Zach Wahls to Speak at Democratic National Convention Thursday Night

Wahls

Our favorite YouTube sensation/Iowan-with-gay-moms-turned-LGBT-activist Zach Wahls will be making a Democratic National Convention appearance.

Says Wahls via Twitter: "Thrilled to announce I'll be speaking at the #DNC12 tomorrow evening!"

Wahls recently recorded a video for Obama's reelection campaign in which he talks about the speech before the Iowa legislature which made him famous on YouTube, his two moms, and what President Obama's endorsement of marriage equality means to him, and his family.

Watch it again, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. You know, I appreciate this guy's efforts, but having a straight man "represent" gay people in a national forum like the DNC is almost as unsettling as having a straight woman like Lady Gaga presume to "represent" us by recording a "gay anthem".

    I mean, how many other minority groups would be represented by a member of another group rather than one of their own.....and how many of them would be comfortable with that? Can you imagine a straight white guy getting up there and presenting himself as a spokesperson for black people or Latinos or women? Of course not, and any of those groups would object strenuously if one did, regardless of how much good he was doing.

    It is fine for straight people who are supportive of gay rights to include mention of it in their speeches--like Obama himself does--in addition to talking about a lot of other issues--and to be good allies......but when someone who is straight becomes recognized as a "spokesperson" for gay people, it reinforces the idea that gay people cannot speak for themselves, either because they are too timid or lack leadership abilities........or because being gay itself undercuts their "legitimacy".....or because of some other unappealing reason.

    Kind of troubling, really.....

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 5, 2012 10:40:49 AM


  2. And let me add that it is not as though there is any shortage of gay people who could be asked to speak and make the same points that Mr. Wahls presumably is going to make......and who would love to be able to speak.....

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 5, 2012 10:43:52 AM


  3. Rick-
    Seriously? If ANYONE has a right to talk about this subject, it is a child of a lesbian couple. Additionally, how do you think progress is made? Its done with the support of allies, INCLUDING the President of the United States.

    PLENTY of white people vocally supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s, same goes for Women's Rights (suffrage, abortion, sexism).

    Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    Sheesh.

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 5, 2012 10:47:49 AM


  4. Rick,

    Zach isn't just speaking on the bald of gay people, but for his own family. Having Zach speak, who we all know is an excellent orator, is a giant middle finger to the rhetoric of the religious right. This is a case where I think it's ok to have someone speak for us because he is a Midwestern boy in a family many of us want to have without the extra hassle. Oh he's an Eagle Scout too? Eat it Chuck Norris.

    Posted by: Alan E. | Sep 5, 2012 10:49:09 AM


  5. Oh god this guy just can't stop. I can already see it - "Gay people are just like you! They are valued members of society and they deserve respect!"

    But of course "white hetero cisman gold-star ally" is what white gay cismen can't get enough of.

    Posted by: Lance | Sep 5, 2012 10:59:03 AM


  6. "PLENTY of white people vocally supported the Civil Rights Movement in the 60s"

    Yes, they did, but they did not become the representatives of black people.....and the civil rights movement was not their ONLY cause.

    That is what seems to set this case apart. Wahls is not a politician or activist for whom gay rights is one of the causes he supports--it is his ONLY issue and he is not simply being supportive, he is positioning himself (or others are positioning him) as a principal spokesperson for marriage equality rather than just a supporter.

    To analogize, Martin Luther King was a civil rights LEADER--he spoke FOR black people; Bob Dylan was a civil rights SUPPORTER--he wrote and recorded songs that addressed social injustices, but never presumed to speak FOR blacks, either in his music or in his other activities, but was, instead, SUPPORTIVE.

    It is a critical distinction--and that is what is troubling about this.

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 5, 2012 10:59:49 AM


  7. Rick,

    You seem to have missed the LGBT speakers last night. Also, you missed the ENTIRE point of having Zach speaking. Further, your comparison is...ridiculously oversimplified and, again, misses the significance of Zach's being selected to speak.

    It's only troubling when you immediately jump to conclusions.

    Posted by: Roger | Sep 5, 2012 11:00:56 AM


  8. Rick,
    Why have you not started speaking out publicly about our issues, why have you not garnered attention to our needs and desires to the point that it is noticed and applauded. Before you start your tirade against an ally and the fact that he is not gay why don't you tell us what you have done to place yourself or someone else on the podium? He is a member of the family, even if he was not raised by us and he still spoke out like he has he would be part of the family.

    Posted by: RandyOwen | Sep 5, 2012 11:01:31 AM


  9. Go Zack!!!!! will def. tune in to watch it

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Sep 5, 2012 11:11:31 AM


  10. Umm, just because Zach Wahls is straight doesn't mean anti-gay laws don't affect him. If one of his mothers is not legally on paper considered his mother, it can affect everything from hospital rights to inheritance. Nationally his parents aren't considered to be married and there is such a hodge podge of gay family law in this country that your legal status as a gay parent can change depending on what state you are in. There could be a situation where next of kin needs to make a medical decision for Zach. If one of his mothers is not considered next of kin by a state's law, that would be a major issue.

    I for one am glad Zach is speaking at the DNC.

    Posted by: KT | Sep 5, 2012 11:11:54 AM


  11. There have already been gay speakers and there will probably be more. The difference between the RNC and the DNC is that the gay speakers at the DNC aren't closet cases and quislings who've been relegated to the fringes, begging to be recognized, they're PART of the Obama Administration, appointed by President Obama, or were ELECTED to office as openly gay pols.

    What bigger contrast do you need?

    And when it comes to the harmful effect DOMA has on gay families, who better to speak about it than the child of gay parents? The GOP and Religious Right (same thing really) have tried to cast gay parents in a negative light, basically accused them of abuse in one form or another, so an educated, well-spoken child of gay parents is an important voice for people to hear.

    Posted by: Caliban | Sep 5, 2012 11:15:26 AM


  12. Hurray! Glad to hear that he's speaking. Already, we have been more visible at the convention than at the RNC. To have a strong ally like that is enormously good.

    There are lots of independents and people on the fence who are watching this convention. Those are the ones we need to reach out to. For the most part, they aren't gay. They need a straight person to "give them permission" to vote for gay rights, and they need to hear our stories.

    The biggest objection to gay marriage is about children. Gays can't have children, they say, and if they do, they only want another recruit. This guy will cut right through all that crap.

    Whenever I discuss gay marriage with an opponent, the ONLY issue that can stop him dead in his tracks is when I say, shouldn't ALL children have married parents? They can't disagree with that. They really don't know what to say at that point. So I drive it home -- by banning gay marriage, you are forcing children to be raised by parents who are not married. You think that's better than having married parents?

    There is simply no better argument, and Zach can make it, forcefully. It will change some minds to our side.

    Posted by: Randy | Sep 5, 2012 11:18:55 AM


  13. He is an intelligent and articulate man, and what's wrong (Rick?) with him speaking out on behalf of other human beings? Making any other distinctions on this issue is just writing comments so you can see them in print.

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 5, 2012 11:28:53 AM


  14. I am proud to have Zach Wahls speak up for our GLBT community.......

    Is RICK really suggesting that we should turn our backs on the very support that has changed perceptions of our community ?

    Rick, let's be clear; it's the straight people who make us.............this elementary proposition may have escaped your naval gazing.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 5, 2012 12:07:12 PM


  15. First He is a part of the GLNT community. Second, it should not be us against straight people. It should just be one community called us all ,include all people in one community.(not separating GLBT community against straight community.Witch gay people are just as guilty of it as straight people) I don`t like to split different community in several categories. It creates separating people instead of unifying all of us.

    Posted by: nn | Sep 5, 2012 12:21:03 PM


  16. Being a child of a lesbian couple makes Zach a part of the LGBT community. He is speaking out for himself and all the families like him. He suffers just as much from anti-gay legislation as we do.

    I am proud to have him speaking on behalf of the family I hope to have one day.

    Posted by: Andrew | Sep 5, 2012 12:29:18 PM


  17. What are you liberal sissies rambling about? I was very clear. I'm a completely closeted grown adult male with no balls who is angry that other people aren't doing things the way that I want them to, even though I have no intention of doing any of those things myself.

    What's confusing about this to you?

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 5, 2012 12:34:26 PM


  18. @Rick - what's confusing about it is that you think we care.

    Posted by: Jack M | Sep 5, 2012 1:13:40 PM


  19. what a bunch of bitter ass queens. first off, Zach is revered by all people, not just gays ... it was his speech that helped push gay rights in Iowa, on behalf of his mothers who raised him. He is going to be a great speaker!! looking forward to it!!

    Posted by: tommyboy10 | Sep 5, 2012 1:29:35 PM


  20. @Rick,

    Ah. At least you have enough self-awareness to acknowledge that you are, in fact, a blinkered, blithering idiot. Good for you! No, go fix that.

    @Tommyboy10,

    Dude, I think you need to re-read the comments. "A bunch of" implies more than one. Reading comprehension is a fundamental skill.

    Posted by: Roger | Sep 5, 2012 2:19:47 PM


  21. Zach is truly an inspirational young man, and I knew big things like this were in his future when I first interviewed him a year ago:

    http://patv.tv/blog/2011/04/06/talking-with-yale-cohn-with-zach-wahls/

    Posted by: Yale Cohn | Sep 5, 2012 2:22:08 PM


  22. Rick - just be quiet. Be grateful we're getting help FTP
    good, kind, brave people.

    Someone needs a lesson in gratitude.

    Posted by: Scott | Sep 5, 2012 3:25:00 PM


  23. "Being a child of a lesbian couple makes Zach a part of the LGBT community. He is speaking out for himself and all the families like him. He suffers just as much from anti-gay legislation as we do."

    No, excuse me, but it most definitely does not, any more than being the son of heterosexual parents makes me a heterosexual or an expert on male-female relationships.

    He benefits from heterosexual privilege just like other heterosexuals do. In fact, that probably has everything to do with why he has been accepted by the mainstream media as a "legitimate" spokesperson on this issue when nobody who is actually gay has been so accepted, at least not as widely. It is his very straightness that makes him acceptable......and he has no idea what it is like to go through life as a gay MAN because he is not one.

    Secondly, the experience of lesbians, while there is some overlap with the experience of gay men in this society, is decidedly different from that of gay men in all kinds of ways. Because they are women, lesbians are shielded in all kinds of ways from the harsh treatment that is doled out to gay men in all kinds of situations, from the workplace to the locker room to you name it. So growing up with two lesbians as mothers will not have endowed him with even an empathetic sense of what gay MEN experience in life, let alone a direct sense of it.

    Honestly, some of you are just arguing with me because it is me and you think that you are supposed to argue with everything I say because you don't like SOME of the things I say......which is exactly how weak-minded people behave and why our politics have become so totally polarized ("if Person or Group A is for it, I am against it, regardless of the merits of the case")

    Obviously, too, nuance is simply lost on many of you. To repeat, the issue is not that he is being given a platform to relate his experience or that he is offering his support--that should be welcomed......but it seems to me that he is very close to crossing over the line--whether by his own intentions or because the media has pushed him in that direction--the line that separates advocacy and support, which are legitimate, from speaking FOR a group that you do not belong to, which is not legitimate, because however hard you may try to empathize, you cannot know what it is like to be a member of that group and really understand the difficulties that come with that experience.

    The face and the voice of the gay community should not be heterosexuals any more than the face and the voice of racial minorities should be white people.

    But, hey, whatever.....it is hardly a new thing for gay men to hide behind others instead of fighting their own batttles.....at least in this instance it is a straight man rather than a straight woman, so I guess that is "progress" of a sort......

    Posted by: Rick | Sep 5, 2012 3:37:11 PM


  24. Seeing anybody standing up for LGBT causes makes me smile and be thankful...

    So...Thank you Zach!
    =)

    Posted by: George F | Sep 5, 2012 3:55:38 PM


  25. Rick, does this mean you're finally going to post the URL to your own page where you become the Gay Male Voice of The Gay Community that you talk about, anonymously, on here?

    it's oh so easy. post the URL, make a youtube video, become the gay man talking about gay things that you keep crying out for.

    because, sugarpie, you can't sit there anonymously in the closet and complain that people aren't doing what you yourself aren't doing.

    oh wait, you just said that's what you do. hilare.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Sep 5, 2012 5:25:11 PM


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