Pray the Gay Away – By Michael & Zach Zakar
Pray the Gay Away chronicles Michael and Zach as they face awkward sexual encounters, drug-fueled escapades, coming out to each other, and their biggest foe – Mom, a woman who not only gave birth to what she calls one regret – but two. The memoir hilariously and poignantly explores what it’s like growing up as gay, Iraqi twins in modern America. Pray the Gay Away was inspired the night Mom snuck into their bedroom and force fed them “holy grapes,” determined to “de-gay” them.

The Zakar Twins are new voices speaking out against generations, particularly within the Iraqi culture, who look down on being gay. This book is not only for the LBGTQ community but for young adults, looking to achieve normalcy.


Pray the Gay Away answers the questions: what does it take to be true to one’s self, to embrace one’s sexual preference, and to feel normal with that choice? The story is told with honesty and courage, and it is hard not to feel the pain of the protagonists. It’s riveting, a great read in gay literature.
-Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Although it is LGBTQ genre, you don't have to identify as such to get something out of this book. An easy read with attitude and hilarity, I found myself hooked on the story of not only their coming out but also, growing up.
PRAY THE GAY AWAY is in fact a tender, laugh-packed, and heartbreaking coming-of-age novel. But mostly, it’s an outsider story. About being born different, then finding out you’re even more different than you thought. This may be their first book, but it’s clear these guys are born storytellers. And they’ve got lots of story to tell.
Such a beautiful story being team-told here and done in a way that keeps you engaged; it will make you laugh, if you are open, it will make you cry, but guaranteed to give you all the feelz. It is a tongue and cheek coming of age story that is told with such honesty and heart, that is hard not to get charmed into this one, only pages in. Not only is a feel good story, I absolutely would not discount the importance of the message of hope and happiness in our most awkward, vulnerable years in one's life. So glad the Zakar Twins invited us into their world for this one....can't wait to RSVP for the next!
I finished it in one sitting. It’s just the right mix of horrifying and relatable, titillating and sweet.
“Pray The Gay Away” does a great job of illustrating the journey “coming out” takes for both the parent and child.
This is such a great book! You’ll find yourself laughing and relating to Michael and Zach throughout the entire thing! I definitely recommend this book for everyone whether you’re gay, straight, or in between.
Reading this book has truly helped me accept who I am.
This book brought tears to my eyes. I can identify with this book more than any other I have ever read. The twins are hilarious and pinpoint where our generation is right now.