BIGOTRY: Trans lawmaker and girlfriend targeted in SWATTING attacks

BIGOTRY: Trans lawmaker and girlfriend targeted in SWATTING attacks

Montana Representative Zooey Zephyr has become the face of the transgender rights battle over the past weeks, as she’s stood against the efforts of Republicans in her state to pass legislation limiting those rights, but now her girlfriend has been targeted in a swatting attack (in which a false report is used to sic a SWAT team on an innocent individual), and other disturbing developments are happening rapidly.

Zephyr had sued to be restored to her legislative seat and duties, but a judge responded on Tuesday, saying that it would interfere with the separation of powers if he attempted to overrule the decision made by vote within the legislative branch, and that it is not in his authority to do so.

Zephyr’s attorney says that an appeal is being discussed, but it may be too close to the end of the legislative session to be worth the fight.

In the meantime, Zephyr’s partner, Erin Reed, a journalist and trans rights activist herself, was at her home Tuesday morning when local police received an email urging them to her home.

According to Reed, police were told that she was being held hostage, but she had fortunately contacted them in advance, aware that she was likely to be targeted. The Advocate confirmed with a police spokesperson:

“An email was sent to the Montgomery County Fifth District station. Officers responded to her residence this morning for a [welfare check]” the spokesperson said. “They spoke with Ms. Reed, and she stated that she was fine and that her ‘information got leaked.’ She stated that she provided her information to the police department because she figured something like this might happen.”

Zephyr shared Tuesday night that she, too, had been the target of another SWAT attempt.

She says that police recognized a likely hoax, and contacted her before acting.

Reed says that despite the sometimes-contentious relationship between the LGBTQ community and law enforcement, anyone likely to be targeted should maintain a relationship with local police to forestall similar attacks.

Zephyr, after being turned away from the House floor, set up to work on a bench outside the chambers, where she was further accosted, including by the sergeant at arms, who threatened to move her bench.

Even after the issue seemed settled, she returned to work Monday morning to find a real-life trolling effort in effect: a group of women occupied the bench apparently for the sole purpose of preventing her from sitting.

Zephyr hasn’t let any of it beat her down, and continues to work for the people who elected her.

Here are Zephyr and Reed’s responses to the swatting attempt.