In February, 19-year-old Iowa student Zach Wahls became a social media celebrity overnight. His impassioned speech to the Iowa House of Representatives told a story of growing up with two-moms, leaving a pro-gay parenting message that resonated beyond the video's trending period. Today, Wahls's video has re-surfaced along with others that continue to capture hearts through their emotive message.
Here's a look at his top 5 videos:
My name is Zach Wahls, I'm a six generation Iowan and an engineering student at the University of Iowa and I was raised by two women. These were the opening lines of Wahls's original video where he explains that growing up with two-moms did not have a negative impact on his upbringing. At the time, Iowa was considering an amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. But following the publicity of the speech, the amendment never passed and today, Iowa remains one of six-states in the U.S that legally recognizes same-sex marriage. In my 19 years, not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple, Wahls said in his passionate speech. And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.
About 6-months after his first video went viral, Wahls posted a second video of thanks. When I stood up to give that testimony I had no idea what was about to happen and how far the words I was about to speak would resonate, he says in the video. He tells his fans that he is still just some kid living in Iowa and therefore even more grateful that people cared enough to share and spread the video and its message.
Zach wishes a national wide happy mother's day and expresses his gratitude to organizations who have helped to push laws that allow his two-moms to be happily married.
Zach Wahls and his family talk to HRC about the dynamic of their family. One of Wahls's moms, Terry, explains that you can raise kids as a man and a woman or as two women; the key is that they love each other and value the children and family.
Zach Wahls talks to Ellen DeGeneres, who commends him for his brave and inspirational speech to the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls explains how some people told him they had changed their opinions on single sex parenting after hearing his speech. To have such an impact is a blessing, he says.
Zach Wahls speaks on MSNBC about defending marriage equality before being honored by the Family Equality Council for his honesty and courage.
The original video re-surfaced on Wednesday when it was posted on MoveOn.org under the title Two Lesbians Raised a Baby and This is What They Got. When the video started to trend again, Wahls took to Reddit to answer questions from his fans and supporters.
Hey everybody: I'm actually a long time redditor, and it's been my distinct honor to watch you guys put me on the front page three times now, especially considering that none of my own posts have ever gotten anywhere near the front page, he wrote.
When asked by Reddit users how growing up with two mothers affected him, Wahl's told them that he has realized when he is asked this question that he is actually being asked what it is like growing up without a father.
I had to learn how to shave from my best friend's dad. It's something I was briefly bullied about when I was growing up. It made me aware of the whole gay marriage debate--and the effects it might have on my family--from a young age, Wahls said.
When praised for how eloquent and articulate his speech was, Wahls told his fans that he had practiced before. If you look carefully, you can actually see me set down my notes and start the timer on my iPod. That being said, what actually came out of my mouth was only about 70% of what was on the paper in front of me. More than 'memorized,' I knew what I wanted to say and had a couple lines locked away. The last line about the sexuality of my parents, for example, I knew was going to be my last line.