INDOMITABLE: Trans legislator stands strong as GOP colleagues try to push her out

INDOMITABLE: Trans legislator stands strong as GOP colleagues try to push her out

Montana Representative Zooey Zephyr headed to the state legislature to represent her constituents, including the LGBTQ ones, and she’s fighting to continue doing so, even as her GOP colleagues work to push her and her activism off the floor.

On Wednesday, the MO House of Representatives took a vote on Zephyr’s ability to speak on the House floor, with her right-wing colleagues angry that she stood up for transgender kids and their access to gender-affirming care during the discussion of a bill that would block that access.

They voted to boot her from the floor.

She can vote on legislation, albeit remotely, and is spending her Thursday working from the public seating area.

There were even efforts to boot her from this location, albeit unsuccessful.

The right is framing this and similar bills as only preventing surgical or irreversible alterations to children’s bodies, for their protection, but in truth, gender-affirming care for minors consists predominantly of allowing a child to use preferred pronouns and name, and giving them counseling that in fact steers them towards safe choices, rather than the suicidal impulses that plague trans children who are forced to pretend and conform to their assigned gender.

The Trevor Project reports that a single accepting adult in the life of a trans child reduces the risk of suicide by as much as 40%.

Zephyr is fighting against legislation that promotes the exact kind of stigma that removes the option of an accepting adult, and appropriate care and support, from children’s lives. CBS reported:

“When I rose up and said ‘there is blood on your hands,’ I was not being hyperbolic,” Zephyr said while addressing the House before the disciplinary vote. “I was speaking to the real consequences of the votes that we, as legislators, take in this body. And when the speaker asks me to apologize on behalf of decorum, what he is really asking me to do is be silent when my community is facing bills that get us killed.”

You’ll see Zephyr’s speech ahead of the disciplinary action at the bottom of this page.

In the meantime, she’s set up a workspace on a couch outside House chambers, and according to NPR, the legislature even took issue with that.

House Speaker Mark Regier approached her to say she’s not allowed to work in this space, and a sergeant-at-arms threatened to move the couch where she was working.

She says others have been cordial, though, as she continues to carry out her duties.

Here’s Zephyr’s statement on the disciplinary action against her. She says:

“Though the Republican supermajority has voted to strip me of my ability to partake in debate, I remain steadfast in my commitment to my community. I will continue to make the difficult moral choices necessary to stand up for the people who entrusted me with their representation.”

Here she is still working for her constituents despite the efforts of her GOP colleagues.

Finally, here’s the speech she gave before being booted from participation in debate.