When Zach Wahls spoke last year on the floor of the Iowa House of Representatives, he spoke from the heart about growing up with two mothers and explained just how not different his family is, and why they duly deserve the same rights as all families. Just this past Saturday, my wife and I – along with my mother – had the opportunity to meet Mr. Wahls at a book-signing event in High Falls, NY.
Find out what Zach Wahls told Two Moms Make A Right and watch his now-famous speech after the jump.
His new book, My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family, is a memoir about his experience growing up in the American heartland with a two-mom family. And it’s the reason we got to meet him. Zach was in the small Ulster County town over the weekend promoting his newly released book as part of a fundraiser for the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center, with co-author and local legend Bruce Littlefield. My wife and I were so excited to meet the both of them, and they were lovely and welcoming. Even with a long line behind us, not only did Zach agree to take a moment for a picture with us, but Bruce volunteered to take it! We were oh-so grateful and I didn’t wish to press our luck by asking for a picture with Bruce, too.
When I introduced my wife and mother to Zach and Bruce, I felt something I very rarely feel: Pride. Here I stood, before the famous lifestyle authority and author, Bruce Littlefield, and a national gay rights hero, Zach Wahls, with my legal wife and ever-supportive mother.
When I introduced my wife and mother, I felt something I very rarely feel: Pride. Here I stood, before the author and national gay rights hero, with my legal wife and ever-supportive mother.
For those in the straight community, you’ve likely introduced your spouse and parent numerous times to people in many different situations, and you’ve likely done so with little thought. But for me, and perhaps many others in the gay community, being able to introduce the one you love as your spouse in the same breath and alongside an introduction of your mother is nothing short of a glorious moment. So many gay couples across the country don’t have the right to call the one they love their “wife” or “husband,” and countless others don’t have the support of their families. So when I introduced my wife and mother to Bruce and Zach, they got it. They understood how special such an introduction is, and they immediately greeted us with bigger smiles, for they know – and because they have seen – that so many others don’t have the very basic rights and familial support that I’m so blessed to have.
I told the authors of my baby-making plans with Sara, of the blog I just started back in April, and how grateful I am for Zach’s words in the Iowa House of Representatives last year. They encouraged us to keep doing what we’re doing and wished us luck with our IVF next month. I couldn’t help but look at Zach and be amazed by his youth – he’s only 20 – and what he’s accomplished for the gay rights movement simply by being led by love and the innate sense of doing what is right. His mothers must burst with pride, when I can hardly contain my pride in this young man – and I’m a stranger, for all intents and purposes.
I left that darling little small-town shop that afternoon feeling as though Zach’s character is as much a success story for his mothers as it is for the entire gay community. Anytime a stereotype is broken down and negated, we all move one step closer to compassion, understanding, and full equality.
Watch Zach’s speech here
Read more of Aela’s writing at Two Moms Make A Right