Hey everybody:

Circling back from my thread in /r/AskReddit the other day. Here's a link to the clip.

Regarding the suggestions I got in this thread, the AMA request for Jon was the single most popular item, so I mentioned it to a lot of different people, and even Jon himself. He seemed interested but said that his agent would be the one who would probably make the call. That NDT has done a bunch--and that they were really well received--seemed to give him some confidence about the idea. I gave his assistant some more info and told her who she would want to contact. I think this is legitimately possible and it definitely seems like something that's right up his alley. Fingers crossed.

I mentioned CISPA to a producer during the "pre-interview" and was told that it sounded like something Jon would want to cover and to bring some more info with me. So when I got to the studio, I passed some info on, and, though it's no guarantee, is definitely to look for over the next week or so. During the interview, there wasn't a good place to mention it and it would have looked super awkward. Hopefully he'll be able to eviscerate it in a segment on the show.

And I took a bunch of photos for your viewing pleasure.

Oh, and here's some proof that this is me: http://imgur.com/6LegY

Reddit, I'm here for the next three hours. Ask me anything.

Jon's endorsement:

This is a wonderful book. You will love it, you will weep at times. It is an incredible demonstration of the power of real values.

EDIT: If you have not purchased a copy of the book and would like to buy a signed one, just shoot me a PM. I'm working with a local independent bookstore to get signed copies distributed basically anywhere in the world. I'm super stoked about this and am more than happy to write a personal message to you!

The way that that's going to work is that I'm going to put you in touch with them directly. They'll have a bunch of books for me to sign with names, personal messages, etc. You'll likely have to pay a bit more for shipping, but that's it!

And if you're a lurker, just shoot me an e-mail at [email protected]


Thank you everybody! I've got a plane to catch, but I'll try and respond in the air, and if you shot me an PM, I'll be in touch this evening. Thank you all so, so much!

Comments: 1455 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

moderatemormon867 karma

No question, just a comment.

I have 5 children and if I do half as good a job raising them as your parents have done with you I'll die a happy man.

ZachWahls563 karma

Thank you very much. My moms were/are absolutely incredible parents.

Phinq836 karma

all I'm saying is




shadowtc91183 karma

Get ready for Emma Watson. She'll be dating Zach.

Phinq198 karma

I'll be waiting for "I am dating Emma Watson, AMA"

ZachWahls699 karma

That would definitely be an AMAA.

elzorrodorito681 karma

Fellow Iowan here, thanks for not making us look like idiots

CCFTW332 karma

+1. We Iowans need to stick together. He did us proud.

edit-I'm retarded

minhthemaster252 karma

+2. Iowans leading the way

ZachWahls376 karma

+3. Iowa is awesome. More than happy to rep the state.

[deleted]461 karma

Non-questions part:

IAMA TDS connoisseur, as I'm a massive fan and have seen every episode for the last 8 years or so. Therefore, also your episode. So I have great comparison material.

My compliments on how you did in the interview. You knew exactly when to chat and when to shut up, were quick and to the point, and knew when to let jon be funny and not try to be it yourself (a tip i saw in your askreddit and elsewhere); but you still even made him laugh very convincingly, a rare achievement. His request that you raise his kids was funny and cool, and even in joke form a big honour in my opinion. That and his joke about imagining what books his children were writing about him told me how comfortable Jon was with you; he could 'play off you' very well. His beaming face when joking about your moms in the audience ("You're with the author? To the back with you") suggested he was in an excellent mood.

When he said you were the embodiment of the values you are espousing (no pun intended), you actually took the words out of my mouth when you said "that is a big honour." The dynamic was near-perfect. Imagining myself at your age, or even my current age (34), makes me very impressed with your togetherness. The whole thing came off very authentic too.

Good job on bringing CISPA to their attention without forcing it out in the interview. Smart choice.

As an aside, I am such a fan of Jon and the show that it is a half-serious life's goal of mine to accomplish anything big enough in my life in order to get on Jon's show. And I fantasize about that sometimes.

Allright, this has gotten much more crazy and gushing than I intended and I'm starting to think whether I should've used a throwaway. Maybe there's something a little wronger with me than I first realized. Never mind, I've written it out now and I'll be damned if I'm wasting all those keystrokes.

Questions part:

  1. I've always wondered what the process is like to get on the show. Can you tell us a bit more about who initiated contact; can it go either way?

  2. Was there any subsequent vetting, like a RL interview to see if you're OK for the show?

  3. Did they tell you any rules about how to behave, or what you could or could not talk about?

  4. What did you do before and afterwards (the interview)?

  5. Much of the time the guests seem to have an impulse to get up and leave from the desk as soon as the interview is over, which Jon often tries to avoid (it seems) by chatting as soon as the music starts playing; did they tell you anything about this? (I saw you mouthe clearly "Thank you so much" in that time, gave an extra-authentic touch.)

Good work all round, thanks for the AMA!

Edit: number questions

Re-Edit: PS: thanks for the pics, I guess now I know what the 'green room' looks like! And it's true what they say about the bag of goodies and bowl of candies..

ZachWahls354 karma

Hey man, thank you so, so much. I had a blast, he was a super nice dude and I thought the interview went really, really well. It was definitely a dream come true, as I grew up watching the show. I just feel incredibly blessed. I know that luck played a huge role in this whole thing--going viral requires a ridiculous amount of luck--and am just so thankful. It's been a crazy, crazy ride.


  1. The way it works is that the publicist for my book (who works for Penguin, the publisher) pitched the Daily Show. TDS receives about 200 requests a day, so when my publicist, who's the woman with curly brown hair in the imgur album, called me to tell me that they were interested, I literally couldn't believe it. It's obviously an issue that Jon cares about quite a bit and it was a story in which he had considerable interest.

  2. There wasn't vetting, per se. I think they presume that if a major publisher (Penguin) is publishing your book, you check out. I guess this probably isn't always the case--I'm not sure if you watched Diane Keaton on the Colbert Report immediately after TDS that night... she was a little ahem awkward--but I think that's their biggest barometer. There is a pre-interview, though, in which I talked with the producer about what areas they thought would make the most sense to cover, etc. This took place over the phone.

  3. Nope. Again, that whole vetting thing about being a published author.

  4. Just hang out in the greenroom, which is one of the pics in the imgur album.

  5. Yeah, as an avid fan of the show, I've seen that happen a few times, so I made sure to stay seated. We just talked for a brief second. I thanked him again, he said he was really glad it had worked out for me to be on the show and then he presented me to the live audience, which to both of our surprises actually gave me a standing ovation. Really cool moment.

Thanks for the great questions!

valjean260396 karma

What is Jon like off camera?

My wife has two moms and she was fascinated by your interview. Would you be willing to sign a copy of your book for her for mothers day?

(Edit) I'd be happy to pay for the book and shipping :)

ZachWahls930 karma

He was absolutely amazing. 100% pure class. He came back stage to talk with me beforehand--none of the other hosts of any of the shows I've been on have done that. He came back again after the show to meet my moms and sister. Super friendly, super respectful. Further, he also read the entire book, which it turns out he does for 80-90% of his book guests, but, again, is highly unusual for hosts.

Everything I dreamed about and more.

And if you'd like a signed book, PM me. I'm working with a local independent book store in Iowa City to get them signed and shipped out.

Silenced_is_Foo596 karma

Holy shit, he reads most of the books? There are talk show hosts that do this?

ZachWahls449 karma

Some of them are just huge tomes that would be too much, but even those he skims through and reads summaries, I was told. My book weighed in at about 240 pages, so it wasn't too hard of a read.

rubes114345 karma

Even so, 2-4 240 page books a week requires serious dedication

ZachWahls514 karma

He's a seriously dedicated guy. You can tell he cares a lot about the show and puts in a lot of effort.

[deleted]359 karma

Zach I have mad respect for you, brother. you are intelligent, polite, and articulate as fuck. I saw you on the daily show and all I could think was I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM! Great job on the show and in life in general. I hope life takes you to many awesome places.

ZachWahls212 karma

Don't have a brother, actually. Do have a younger sister, though?

[deleted]224 karma

haha no i mean like brother as in pal, buddy, friend.

ZachWahls388 karma

Oooooooh. Good lord. It's been a long few weeks!

Leejin270 karma

Buckle up man... You're in for quite a life. :)

I'm buying your book for my parents who are shamefully ignorant to anything LGBT related.

ZachWahls305 karma

Thank you so much! If you haven't bought a copy yet and want to buy a signed copy, shoot me a PM.

CanadianLiberal186 karma

It was a great interview, you did awesome. How much of it was "planned", in that you knew what questions may be coming? How much did they interview for topics/anecdotes for him to bring up, or come around to in conversation?

ZachWahls252 karma

Thank you much! The way it works for a show like this is that you do what's called a "pre-interview" first and you just talk with a producer abou some possible areas of conversation. So Jon has, on those blue cards, some info and some possible questions, but there's no pre-defined order or anything like that. Pre-interview lasted about 20 minutes over the phone.

CanadianLiberal143 karma

Makes sense, otherwise the interview could be awkward I guess. And after the interview is over, he leans in to talk to you... What was said? And did you two talk after the cameras were turned off?

ZachWahls182 karma

Yeah, for sure. And I just thanked him again and he mentioned he was really glad that it all worked out.

MAH-TEE184 karma

Hey man, Great job at the interview, and great work all around. What's next though? Any big plans or just going where the wind takes you at this point?

ZachWahls243 karma

Thank you very much! I'm starting my book tour literally later this afternoon which will be a few more weeks of traveling and promotion and all that fun stuff. After that wraps up after Mother's Day, I'm going to be focusing full time on Out to Dinner, an advocacy project I recently started.

Here's a video explaining the project:


I'm really excited about it.

After that's wrapped up in June, I'm going to be doing more speaking during the fall, and then probably back to school in 2013 or 2014.

AcutelyObtuse128 karma

I love the cell phone bars your family and Jon make in that picture. Are you really that tall or is Jon really that short?

ZachWahls268 karma

I'm 6'5" aka super-duper-freakishly-tall.

mimms128 karma

Do you get hit on constantly these days?

ZachWahls271 karma


TryIndochino126 karma

Thanks for wearing Indochino clothing during your TV appearances this past week!

ZachWahls110 karma

My pleasure. Fits really well and not too expensive.

Ent_Life122 karma

What has been the hardest part about all of this for you?

ZachWahls639 karma

I don't get to spend nearly as much time as home as I used to. I've lost some friends, not because anything bad happened, but because I simply haven't been able to hang out with them. There's also a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure to stay on the up and up so to speak, which isn't always easy when you're twenty years old. I've witnessed the difference that this story can make in people's lives though, and that totally makes it worth it. There's one exchange in particular that comes to mind. This is from an essay I wrote a few weeks ago:

This story takes place in early February of this year. I had woken up at 4:30 a.m. to catch the first flight out of Eastern Iowa so I could be in central Michigan for my talk that evening at a university out there. As far as talks go, it was a good one.

Good energy, great turnout—laughter at my jokes but solemn silence as I explained the struggles of early adolescence—a standing ovation when I finished. After the Q&A and after the mingling, there was only one person left: a young woman my age, who had waited patiently through it all. We’d exceeded our time limit in the auditorium, so we made our way to the lobby, and she explained that she had “recently come to terms with the fact that [she’s] a homosexual.” Now it was my turn to be shocked. I had never heard someone refer to herself like that. But I simply nodded.

She took a deep breath, trembling, trying to maintain her composure. “I always knew I had been different,” she said. “Since I was a little girl, even. And I thought for the longest time I’d never be able to have children—was told I couldn’t. But after listening to you tonight I...” she trailed off, looking away. I realize in retrospect that she simply couldn’t believe she was able to say she was about to tell me. “I can be a mom.” We hugged for a long time—I’ll never forget the look on her face.

Edited for paragraph breaks.

TuckerTheCat114 karma

Hi Zach, I remember watching your testimony to the Iowa house and I was very moved by it. Also caught you on the Daily Show the other night, you were great. You're very eloquent and a great spokesperson for the LGBT movement.

My question to you: At what age did you become cognizant of your mothers' "atypical" (can't think of a better word) relationship? How did they explain it to you? And when did you realize how much they are discriminated against for it?

Also, I've never been to Iowa, but I imagine that it's a fairly conservative state (I'm from Texas). How did people in your community treat you and your family? It sounds like people were overall very accepting, but I'd like you to expand on that.

Thanks for everything you're doing. I am a straight male who is firmly pro-LGBT rights, and there is a huge need for people like you to be a public face of the movement: just normal, next-door neighbor type dudes. Peace.

ZachWahls144 karma

This is a great question and get asked it frequently.

My biomom, Terry, has been explaining the story since I was nursing, so there's really never been a moment I didn't know how I was conceived, what my family looked like (i.e. two mom family) etc. They were always very open and honest about it. I wish there was a little more of that in this debate generally.

It really wasn't until 2004--and my publisher wants me to tell you that I write about this in the book--as I was watching the GOP national convention that I fully understood the degree to which there a lot of powerful people opposed to my family's existence. It was a scary moment.

TuckerTheCat44 karma

Wow, thanks for the response. Goes to show that educating your kids at an early age about sex and orientation does not ruin them for life. What do you say to people who say they don't want to have explain to their kids why, for example, you have two moms?

ZachWahls340 karma


But that aside, if they don't want to, nobody is forcing them to do so. Unless I'm missing something, there's no individual mandate forcing kids to explain this issue to little kids.

RadicalBoner100 karma

Your speech was extremely moving and touching. Thanks so much for doing this AMA!

From your personal experience, what do you think is the biggest reason homophobia still exist? What is this biggest obstacle standing between gay couples and obtaining all the rights heterosexual couples hold?

ZachWahls314 karma

Ignorance. And I don't mean that in a hateful, condescending way, so much as to observe that most people opposed to LGBT rights simply don't know any openly LGBT people in a meaningful capacity. Once you build that relationship and get past the myths, stereotypes and misconceptions, it becomes really difficult to maintain that anti-LGBT stance.

We fear what we don't understand.

JohnnyDrama6893 karma

So what did Jon say when they were fading to commercial and he leaned in to whisper.

ZachWahls168 karma

I thanked him again, he said that he really enjoyed the book and was glad that it had worked out to be on his show and then mentioned that he'd definitely make sure to visit with the whole family backstage. I was at cloud nine as I walked off the set.

K_Lobstah90 karma

Looks like we were way off.

ZachWahls72 karma

Haha, I didn't even see that thread!

draibop86 karma

so you making bank?

favorite pokemon from the original 151?

how much ass have you kicked for the lgbt cause?

what was it like talking to John Stewart?

i live in Illinois is Iowa any different?

what is your favorite ice cream?

does john stewart smell good?

if you could have to animals spliced together what would it be(ex: bumble bear upper half bear bottom half bee with wings basically a 6 foot killing machine)

what are 3 things on your bucket list?

how much can you bench press?

what ninja turtle do you feel suits you best?

if you could have a lunch with one superhero who would it be?

same question as above but with a historical figure?

ZachWahls175 karma

In order:

  1. Making enough that I can afford to do this full time and, probably, pay for college (In-state tuition + a small scholarship) without any student loans.

  2. A bunch, I hope. I've had a bunch of people write me saying that there minds have been changed towards supporting marriage equality and, maybe more importantly, haven't heard from anybody saying the opposite.

  3. Absolutely amazing.

  4. Haven't spent a ton of time in Illinois, but I imagine that if you love in the rural part of the state, it's not too different. Chicago is definitely different from Iowa.

  5. Mint chip.

  6. Doesn't smell particularly strongly one way or the other.

  7. That's a hard one. A Bumble Bear sounds pretty terrifying. Maybe a whale and a hawk. A whawk. Flying harbinger of doom. Or figuring out some way to give dogs a dolphin's intelligence.

  8. Roadtrip across the entire continental USA; write the story to a graphic novel my little sister illustrates; drive a Porsche

  9. When I was still in school and working out every day, I was benching around 180--a little under my bodyweight. Haven't been to the gym in eight-ish months though. One of the reasons why I'm looking forward to going back to to school.

  10. Leonardo.

  11. I've always been a huge fan of both Spiderman and Batman. But I think lunch with Rorschach would be amazing, if not particularly pleasant.

  12. Theodore Roosevelt, or Kurt Vonnegut Jr. if he counts as a historical figure.

EDIT Missed the pokemon. My bad. Either Scyther or Blastoise.

jmpalmer787 karma

You skipped your favorite pokemon question.

ZachWahls76 karma

Just edited it. Thanks for pointing that out!

draibop26 karma

you sound like a pretty cool guy.

ZachWahls22 karma

Thank you!

Baridi81 karma

Iowa, keeping your rights free since 1846.

Burlington Represent

ZachWahls134 karma

"Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain."

-Iowa State Motto

Maezren83 karma

TIL I'm moving to Iowa. (Man I wish)

ZachWahls93 karma

Do it. And happy cake day!

scrash71 karma

Are you or your parents religious at all?

ZachWahls181 karma

Yes, but probably not how most people understand "religious." It's something I talk about extensively in the book, actually. There's a chapter called "Reverent," and I talk a lot about faith. I'm a Unitarian Universalist, which is a very open and affirming denomination. Very much a "come as you are" church.

dallen64 karma

How did the decision to build the book around the Boy Scout virtues come about?

ZachWahls131 karma

Well, at 20 years old, I couldn't really write a conventional memoir. So there had to be something more to it. After some heavy thinking, I figured that there were really two big parts of my life growing up: my family and the Boy Scouts. What better way to explain my family than with the values of the Boy Scouts? Allowed me to talk about my experience in a way that transcends the experiences of a 20-year-old and gave me an opportunity to really comment on the values that my moms instilled in me, showing, hopefully, that families like mine are not, in fact, an assault on family values.

scrash83 karma

Does it bother you at all that BSA bans gay people from being Scoutmasters? I wonder why you have so much pride in being a Boy Scout when they have policies like this.

ZachWahls211 karma

Does it bother you at all that BSA bans gay people from being Scoutmasters?

So this is a national policy that is enforced at the council level (which is the level one higher than troops, the individual units). Many, many councils, including my own, do not enforce this policy.

In my mind, it's similar to the United States. The US federal government does not recognize SSM, but this is implemented or not implemented at the state level. Increasingly, more states, like Iowa, recognize it. And even though it's a policy (both the BSA and the USA) that I want to see change, I'm not emigrating away from the USA over that policy. Same thing with the Scouts, in my mind.

DarkLoad162 karma

I'm sure you've gotten hate mail over your testimony and your book. What's the volume of it, and how terrifying is it? What's the ratio of good mail to bad mail?

ZachWahls116 karma

Overwhelmingly positive! Literally 99.99% positive. Which is awesome. I was really worried my sister might catch some flak, but she hasn't at all. Certainly nothing about which we were overtly concerned.

obesemuffins53 karma

What are you in school for? With your talents, you have no boundaries.

ZachWahls134 karma

Studying civil/environmental engineering and sustainability studies. Hope to work in renewable energy.

EDIT: Added my second major.

bella_kuu49 karma

No question, just a thank you...

After reading your last AMA (which was great btw), and doing a bit of googling, I found your mom's book "Minding Your Mitochondria" for MS patients, which I bought for my sister in law. Just yesterday, I received a thank you note from her, saying how much she is enjoying it and that she is feeling better by following the information in the book. So, because of your AMA, I was able to (in a round about way) help someone that I care about, so thank you and thank your mom for me!

ZachWahls54 karma

!!! It's an amazing story. I'm really glad to hear this. I'll pass it on to her.

RS_SP47 karma

How awesome is it that your Mom, Terry, gave a TEDx talk? Because, I think it's pretty freaking cool. link

Also, thanks for fighting the good fight.

ZachWahls48 karma

It's a really incredible story and her struggle with MS is something I write about extensively in the book because, honestly, it was her MS that the single biggest impact on my life--not her sexuality.

mcgallo32746 karma

I recently had a long philosophical debate with my Polish roommate about the subject of gay adoption and marriage. It was probably one of the most difficult discussions I've ever had to have. I am a proud advocate with many dear friends who are effected by marriage legislation and adoption laws concerning the LGBT community. Her biggest argument was that she feels it is unfair to a child put into a home with two same sex parents as it means a life of torture and ridicule because it is "not normal". I showed her your video and spoke about other people I know who were raised in the same situation as you, but she shrugged you off as being part of the movement and not speaking from truth. She wrote me off because I'm "too close" to the topic and that I'm just too "American". Do you have any thoughts for her and her concerns? I want to thank you for everything you've done. If I can do even half of what you have done to support the cause, I will have lived a very happy life. You are amazing, as I'm sure you already know. :)

ZachWahls94 karma

as it means a life of torture and ridicule because it is "not normal".

And whose fault is that? Sure, there were a lot of times I was made fun of for having two moms, there are a lot of things I've gone through that kids with straight parents don't have to go through, but the exact same thing is true for kids with interracial parents and they said the exact same thing during the 60s.

Ask her if a woman is responsible for being raped because she's wearing a short skirt. It's the same--bad--logic.

And thank you very much! Doing my best.

[deleted]46 karma


ZachWahls74 karma

Haha, there were definitely some situations in which having two moms gave me some great comebacks to "yo momma" jokes. Especially the ones that involved sex.

lttmfnt44 karma

You're going to be President someday.

ZachWahls101 karma

Hopefully I'll be a college graduate first.

daninlionzden39 karma

Were you nervous during your big speech in the courtroom?

ZachWahls123 karma

Definitely nervous. If you look closely at the beginning, I have my hands in my pockets because they're shaking. But once I hit my stride, I kind of forgot what was going on and was just going straight from the heart. It's something that (obviously, I guess) I'm really passionate about and I found a lot of strength in that.

paraakrama32 karma

Did your moms have joint custody of you and your sister? If so, how did that work for school/hospital/other official stuff? Was it strange for you to find out that other kids had parents of differing genders? Was it strange to find out that not everyone approved of your moms being together? Have you ever lost friends due to your moms? Also, I think you're awesome.

ZachWahls77 karma

They do now because they're married. Before that, they had to have some legal documents drawn up that were really expensive. But yeah, that wasn't always easy. There was an experience we had in 2006 in particular--I mentioned this during the interview with Jon, actually--that was really bad.

Wasn't strange to find that kids had parents of different genders. But it was weird to find out that kids had parents who didn't sit their children down and have purposeful conversations about values.

sargENT_shart32 karma

What's it like living in Iowa?

jarad2259 karma

Pure awesomeness.

ZachWahls124 karma

Can confirm.

netdigger29 karma

As an Eagle Scout and an Assistant Scoutmaster im very aware of the issues that surround the BSA in regards to sexuality and religion. I am also in favor of gay marriage.

I have 2 questions for you.

  1. Where do you feel the BSA's view on sexuality originated from and how do we change that?

  2. Do you hope that you book will change the minds of the BSA?

ZachWahls40 karma

For sure.

  1. It originated from the same place all of the resistance to same-sex marriage and LGBT people generally did: a misunderstanding of what it means to be an LGBT person. For a long time, it's been perceived as this immoral "lifestyle choice" when, in reality, it's simply a part of the biological exuberance that makes life worth living.

  2. Yes. I really, really do.

funfungiguy26 karma

If you had to fight a dinosaur to the death in a Dinosaur Death Match using only primitive weapons and not allowed to set traps, what's the biggest dinosaur you think you win against? You don't have to name a specific dinosaur, just give us a size reference.

ZachWahls45 karma

What kind of primitive weapons are we talking about here? A mace? I'm a pretty big guy. 6'5" and about 210 lbs. But dinosaurs are, you know, killing machines. We're thinking machines. Sans traps, probably not that big, actually.

funfungiguy32 karma

Yes, a mace counts as a primitive weapon.

Probably not that big, actually.

I'll allow it. Zach Wahls said he believes he could win against a "probably not that big" sized dinosaur.

ZachWahls33 karma

Gimme a mace and I feel like I could beat anything shorter than 5' or so. I've got long arms, so I've got good reach which is really important when it comes to fighting probably not that big dinosaurs.

ostracario23 karma

Hey Zach! I can't tell you how great it is to see how much press and recognition you're getting which allows you to spread your message that families are families. Period. They come in all sorts of colours and sizes but, at the end of the day, they all deserve reverence and respect. Are you coming to Toronto, Ontario, Canada at all?

ZachWahls26 karma

Not any time soon, although I'd love to visit Canada. It's a beautiful part of the world.

obereasy21 karma

Why were your Moms and sister stuck in the back row?

ZachWahls32 karma

Wish I knew. They didn't mind though. They thought the whole thing was just an amazing experience.

mick4state18 karma

What was it like going through puberty without any male parental influence?

ZachWahls32 karma

Well, both of my moms work in medicine so they knew all about the physical changes that were happening. Quite possibly better than most men who don't work in medicine do, actually... Wasn't really a big deal.

mz2618ic18 karma

Fellow IC West Grad here! What did you like/hate about the good old high school days?

ZachWahls24 karma

There was a lot to like. Loved both sports and the speech and debate team. Amazing teachers. Tyson, VZ, the Schless, Gross and Frese are all amazing. Obviously a big fan of Dr. A, too.

panther5590117 karma

As a fellow native Iowan, I've noticed that Iowa as well as a lot of other midwestern states are still quite narrow-minded when it comes to gay marriage. Have you noticed any great leaps as far as acceptance goes in Iowa since legalizing gay marriage in 2009? And is it something that just slowly comes with new generations or is there something that can greatly help move it along?

ZachWahls32 karma

We're definitely moving forward for, I think, two reasons. First, people are realizing that, contrary to the Onion's reporting, the world isn't ending. Second, more people are coming out, which is also changing public perception.

Consider signing on to my project, Out to Dinner! Details at www.outtodinner.org

IdesOfMarch16 karma

I just wanted to take this moment and say that your guile and bravery on speaking out against our broken government is inspiring. When that video of you speaking came out on YouTube, I showed it to my mother, who doesn't speak or think very highly of same sex marriage, and she cried while exclaiming that she wanted to be forgiven for all the terrible things she said. It has yet to fully change her, but I feel like buying your book and giving it to her (I plan to read it first) will definitely help her on her journey, so once again, thank you.

And since this is an AMA:

When you're having a bad day, what do you do to make it better for yourself?

ZachWahls16 karma

Hot shower and deep breaths. Will sometimes grab some comfort food.

justcallmezach16 karma

Do you prefer Zach or Zachary? This is of interest to me.

ZachWahls42 karma

I prefer Zach, but my full name is actually Zacharia.

scsoc13 karma

What's your favorite place to eat in Iowa City?

ZachWahls27 karma

Hamburg Inn #2, Panchero's, Orchard Green or Givannis, depending on my mood and the occasion.

Misterbert12 karma

Question, sir: towards the end, Jon kinda cut in and cut you off: where was that thought going?

ZachWahls16 karma

Oh, I was just going to finish the sentence and say that the differences between families like mine and "straight" families are cursory at best.

Briguy2411 karma

Any backstage chat with Jon? Was he able to see/hang out with you before or after the show or was he pretty busy?

ZachWahls22 karma

Yup. He came back to the greenroom and we chatted for a few minutes before the show started. After we were done taping, he came back and took a picture with my moms and sister and talked with me and the crew for a few more minutes. Then he had to bounce to some post-production meeting.

flagamuffin9 karma

What is the biggest single difference about being raised by two mothers as opposed to a more "traditional" nuclear family? Sounds really interesting to me.

ZachWahls96 karma

I'm really, really good at putting the seat down.