Michael and Zach Zakar grew up in a heavily religious household with a deeply anti-gay mother. She wouldn’t even let them use the word gay in the house.
When they both came out to her as gay at the same time, she threw holy water on them to turn them straight. She also force-fed them holy grapes blessed by a priest.
And now they have a hilarious new book called Pray the Gay Away, documenting it all.
In the book, they focus on their heavily Christian upbringing and their super religious mother.
‘Our mom would shove it down our throats,’ Zach joked. ‘But honestly, we are who we are because of our upbringing.
‘The message of Christianity – and any religion – is acceptance and love for all. For me, I find a large group of Christians miss and forget that point if a person is X, Y or Z,’ he said.
She forced them into attending a gruelling summer of bible study. But it didn’t stick.
‘Growing up in a heavy Christian household, we slowly rejected it all,’ Zach said. ‘We like to think of our lives as one big, shitty sitcom.’
And as an act of defiance after coming out, Michael even got a tattoo of his mother on his thigh.
Michael joked: ‘When guys blow me, they make eye contact with mom.’
‘In the gay community, you have like 30 flings before one actually sticks’
Breaking up with someone on Valentine’s Day is probably the absolute worst day in the year to do it, but it was a sad reality for Zach Zakar.
The Zakar twins have a chapter on Zach’s heartbreak with his first ever boyfriend, Lukas.
The chapter tells the story of how the pair met, had dinner with Lukas’ family and then their eventual demise.
Zach told Gay Star News: ‘Lukas was my first serious boyfriend.
‘You know in the gay community you have like 30 flings before one actually sticks. I fell hard for Lukas being that it wasn’t a relationship just based around sex.
‘At the time, my life was still all over the place, to which I think Lukas understood but slowly distanced himself from,’ he said.
Zach describes in the book his excitement about going to dinner with the guy he truly believed he’d be spending the rest of his life with. He even thought Lukas might propose to him that evening.
As Lukas knocks on the door to pick Zach up for dinner, Zach has a basket of gifts at hand.
Zach told GSN: ‘We had dinner reservations on Valentine’s Day, and out of the blue instead of dinner, I got a broken heart.’
He insisted Lukas keep the basket of gifts, but his heart was broken.
‘Our mom is a character within her own’
Over the course of the book, Michael and Zach recount their tumultuous childhoods. They were always close, but grew apart in high school when neither knew the other was gay.
They actually shared their coming out story on YouTube, in which they both hooked up with the same guy in high school.
But because some people couldn’t tell them apart, a rumor about one of them being gay spread through the school when it was actually the other twin who got caught.
But for most of the book, the Zakar boys and their relationship with their mother occupies a lot of the storyline.
Zach said: ‘Our mom is a character within her own.
‘She won’t change and we won’t change. It’s not to say that we haven’t grown a mutual understanding for one another – and she loves us, so that’s all that matters,’ he said.
They also talk about having girlfriends, their first sexual experiences and hooking up at their sister’s wedding.
Zach added: ‘We put our heart and soul into Pray The Gay Away. And we think our book is a must… but we’re biased.’