Chloe Angyal might have gotten married to Zach Wahls in 2021 but she was chasing him in 2011 whe she asked him to marry her.
'Marry me, Zach Wahls,' wrote Chloe Angyal in 2011 after listening to him deliver a stirring speech on marriage equality. Zach Wahls was raised by two women and at 19, he felt the need to raise his voice to make a case for gay marriage. Wahls, who was then a student at the University of Iowa spoke about his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives, to oppose a House Joint Resolution aimed at ending civil unions in Iowa. Chloe Angyal (pronounced Angel) was crushing hard as she listened to him speak and transcribed the text of his speech for a feminist blog — Feministing. "Oh, and Zach? Several Feministing contributors are developing large crushes on you. I won’t name any names, but they rhyme with “Shmaya” and “Shloe.” What can we say? We dig guys who dig equality," she wrote back then.
In something straight out of a rom-com movie, a decade later, they are married. It's fitting considering her academic work focused on Hollywood romantic comedies. Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture hailing from Sydney, Australia. She's currently a contributing editor at MarieClaire.com, and also the author of the book Turning Pointe: How a New Generation of Dancers is Saving Ballet From Itself.
Chloe Angyal and Zach Wahls tied the knot on September 25. Angyal posted screenshots of the setup — her original post 'Marry me, Zach Wahls' and the pay-off — their wedding photo. She simply captioned it: Reader, he married me. The comments on the post were heartwarming with many calling for it to be made into a film. There were also members of the LGBTQ+ community who recalled Wahls 'heroic' speech in Iowa Congress.
Mark Cady, chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, authored the landmark decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Iowa, in 2009. Angyal said that Zach 'gave a really lovely remembrance for Justice Cady in his toast.' The former Iowa Chief Justice had passed away in 2019. It has taken many brave and vulnerable voices to help legalize same-sex marriage in Iowa and Wahls' speech in 2011 was one of them. Wahls made a case for his parents to marry and it went viral.
"My name is Zach Wahls. I’m a sixth-generation Iowan and an engineering student at the University of Iowa, and I was raised by two women. My family really isn’t so different from any other Iowa family. When I’m home, we go to church together. We eat dinner, we go on vacations. But, we have our hard times too; we get in fights," he said. "The question always comes down to, “Can gays even raise kids?” And the conversation gets quiet for a moment because most people don’t really have an answer. And then I raise my hand and say, “Well actually, I was raised by a gay couple, and I’m doing pretty well.” I score in the 99th percentile on the ACT. I’m an Eagle Scout. I own and operate my own small business. If I was your son, Mr. Chairman, I believe I’d make you very proud. I’m not so different from any of your children. My family really isn’t so different from yours. After all, your family doesn’t derive its sense of worth from being told by the state, “You’re married, congratulations!” The sense of family comes from the commitment we make to each other to work through the hard times so we can enjoy the good ones. It comes from the love that binds us. That’s what makes a family," he said.
"So what you’re voting for here is not to change us. It’s not to change our families, it’s to change how the law views us, how the law treats us. In the next two hours, I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot of testimony about how damaging having gay parents is on kids. But not once have I ever been confronted by an individual who realized independently that I was raised by a gay couple. And you know why? Because the sexual orientation of my parents has had zero impact on the content of my character. Thank you," he concluded to loud cheers from the room.
It's fitting that a decade later, Zach is an Iowa state senator and always a champion of LGBTQ+ issues. Some people say you gotta pen down your dreams to manifest them into reality. Chloe certainly did. And well, readers, 'Shloe' married him.