Tanner Shea and Zach Slow. Just a couple of San Franciscans who aim to be husbands. Thus, they launched the “2 Husbands” contest and website. On it, they ask women to post videos in consideration of becoming Zach or Tanner’s wife. You, the public, decide who will be the betrothed by voting.
As far as “catches” go, are these guys “good catches?” One of Zach’s previous public accomplishments, raising $10,000 in a bid to date Lady Sovereign, worked, but he blew every cent on one night and now The S-O-V has some bones to pick with him. Tanner, well, Tanner is gay. Still, he dreams of the perfect marriage to a woman. But if you win, you receive $50,000. The other kind of catch: 500,000 votes must be cast at the site for the results to hold up, and it costs $2 to cast each vote.
The 2 potential Husbands make a case for their project as a positive enterprise: They say they are looking at the Internet as a potential Wild West for young entrepreneurs: “Who doesn’t want to make a million dollars?” Is there a value simply in their effort? Is this a grass roots program that attempts to eat big media’s lunch? A sign of the times? The wave of the future? A pretty fucking awesome joke? Reality style, I sent them some questions by email that pretend like we were talking in person. Apparently they aren’t on “The Amazing Race” as I had suspected.
SF360: Whose amazing idea was this?
Zach Slow: I came up with the idea while I was staying in a hotel for work. I always get lonely during extended stays in hotel rooms. It was during a moment of loneliness that I realized I needed a wife stat. I know Tanner gets lonely in hotel rooms too, so it only made sense that he gets involved. Plus we both want to make a million dollars, so it all just made sense.
Tanner Shea: Umm, well I guess Zach originally had the idea of getting married to a complete stranger. It sort of evolved out of another idea we had. >From there it all just spiraled out of control.
SF360: What’s the deal?
Slow: It’s easy. Just check out 2husbands and sign up. If you win, you’ll receive $50,000.
SF360: How did you first hear that you were going to be on ‘The Amazing Race?’
Shea: What are you talking about? We’re not on ‘The Amazing Race.’ We’re Zach and Tanner from The 2 Husbands.
SF360: Why can’t men try to marry Tanner? Are you guys semi-gay sexist/homophobes?
Slow: Unfortunately same-sex marriage is illegal in every single state in the United States. Actually it’s illegal in every country worldwide. [Editor’s note: not.] We thought about trying to work around it, but a ‘domestic partnership’ just sounds lame. Plus the URL “onehusbandandonedomesticmartnership.com” is too long.
Shea: Okay. Here’s the thing. I am eg-geg-geggity Gay. And nothing is gonna change that. But I’m a California boy. And in Cali it’s not legal for me to legally wed another man. And legally marrying a stranger is what makes this extreme and fun for me. Having my cousin buy that $15 online minister license doesn’t really carry the same weight.
But more importantly, on top of that, it just brings up some interesting social points.
A. The whole ‘ex-gay’ thing. I mean, really?? What I’m saying with part of this is that those ideas are ludicrous. You can’t just have a gay man marry a woman and think that his sexuality is gonna change. I mean, expectations in marriage are high enough, right? And since I’m staying gay, then why the hell am I married to a woman in the first place? I just wanna show how silly that “ex-gay” point of view is. It just makes no sense, and people end up getting way more hurt than if they just embraced who they really are.
B. On the flip-side to that there is a really special connection between a gay man and his lady BFF’s. And I play that up a bit too. Machismo-ridden straight men really get off on how much they can ‘please a woman,’ but is that in fact the case? (I’m talkin’ meatheads here people.) There’s a ton of straight men that are rad husbands and boyfriends. I’m just sayin’ some might want to think twice about their lady’s needs.
SF360: I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and I don’t want to go and get all up in your business or anything, but, really, how real is reality?
Slow: I need to get stoned and think about this one.
Shea: Well, when it comes to reality TV I think you’d have to be pretty out of it to think it’s ‘real.’ If anything they do use ‘real’ novice actors. When it comes to our show, all I can say is Zach and I have been doing hair-brained stunts like this since the day we met. This sort of stuff is very true to who we are, I mean every other weekend it seems we’re dressing up, placing bait on Craigslist, hitting the town for some insane shenanigans with our friends. So in that way it’s very real.
SF360: Ohâ€¦ Uhh, have you ever snagged me in your Craigslist baiting?
Slow: (Ten minutes later, coughing.) All reality shows are completely fake. Only the ’2 Husbands’ is real. Pass the Ben and Jerry’s.
SF360: Some people claim that the earliest marriages predate recorded history.
Shea: Those people sound like they could use a drink. I mean, who cares?
Slow: Some people also think the world is only six thousand years old and dinosaur bones were planted here to test their faith.
SF360: If you were to get married say in the year 1977, how would that change your concept up a bit?
Slow: I think 1977 would have been an amazing year to get married! In 1976 I would have been hiding in Canada for dodging the Vietnam War draft. It would have been a lonely time for me because I don’t speak ‘Canadian,’ and there is no glory in being a consciousness objector. I’d be stuck in a foreign land with no chance of marrying a stranger over the internet. Luckily the year 1977 would change all of that. Jimmy Carter pardoned all of the draft dodgers that year. What I’m trying to say it wouldn’t have changed our concept at all… wait… would I still have my MacBook Pro?
Shea: Shit grrl, I’d be too busy sweatin’ it out in the dirty gay ‘poppers-in-the-air’ disco clubs of New York City to give a 2 shakes about this crap.
SF360: You are going to give the female (only?!?) winners of your contest $50,000 each. But, you are then going to take it right back as part of the dowry, right?
Slow: Yes. I mean, no. I mean, good idea!
Shea: No. The answer is ‘no.’ We really want to share the wealth. Bottom line is those two girls (along with a lot of others) really will make this dream of ours come true. That’s the prize and they deserve it. Of course we’ll be throwing the world’s biggest party for all our fam and friends if this whole thing goes down the way we hope. Right, Zach?
SF360: I’m not down with the whole married with separate bank accounts thing. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Slow: I’m with you. I keep all of my cash in a shoebox under my bed. But once I get married, we’ll need separate shoeboxes under the bed. I think it’s important not to be too dependent your partner.
Shea: Ohh child, you two have not been not watchin’ ‘Oprah.’ In every marriage, you have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? The ‘O’ has brought us so many sad stories of women getting left with nothing because they were totally dependent on that man. I say ‘independence!’ from the get go.
SF360: What if you have to get married during the taping of ‘The Amazing Race?’ Do you think it will hurt your chances of winning?
Shea: OMFG. We’re not on ‘The Amazing Race!!’
Slow: Why the hell do you keep talking about ‘The Amazing Race?’
SF360: Are there any questions you want to ask me?
Shea: What do you look like?
Slow: Is my mom going to read this interview?
SF360: Do you believe in love at first video entry sight?
Shea: Dude, I believe in the video ‘Love at First Sight’ by Kylie Minogue. But I will say the girl Lara who was suffocating herself for me… I dunno, there was just something about her….
Slow: Absolutely! I’m already in love with a couple of girls on the site. I’m not so sure my mom’s with me on this one though.
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