In the controversial children’s book Heather Has Two Mommies, written by Lesléa Newman in a liberal New England environment and self-published in 1989, the titular offspring was a preschooler. Today, if Heather weren’t fictional, she’d be in her 20’s and probably still dealing with the fact that her and her lesbian moms‘ story was one of the most banned of the 1990’s.
Only two years after the introduction of “Heather,” one pair of actual lesbian moms, on the cutting edge of the so-called “gayby boom” phenomenon, welcomed their infant son Zach Wahls into the not-so-liberal state of Iowa. Who could have predicted that nineteen years later, he would openly testify before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee on the issue of being raised by lesbian parents? Or that the moving video would go viral more than once?
And now the 20-year-old has a book, written with the assistance of Bruce Littlefield and published last month, entitled My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family.
Publishers Weekly: “‘I’m not gay, but I know how it feels to be in the closet,’ he writes of his sometimes veiled responses when asked as a child about his father. Wahls reflects on bullies and bullying, family values, Unitarian-Universalism (of which he is an adherent), the impact of chronic disease on the family (one of his moms has MS), and the reality of a marriage between women. Wahls has a fresh voice, and while still relatively young, his evenhandedness and willingness to use his own experiences to address larger social issues is admirable and will likely appeal to all walks of life.”
Kirkus Reviews: “The book works best when there’s more levity amidst the earnestness, as when the author humorously answers questions he’s asked most frequently (e.g., ‘Which one of your moms is the man?’). Few minds will be changed by this book—it seems unlikely that a homophobe would read something titled My Two Moms—but Wahls’ heart is in the right place.”