Zooey Zephyr, the first openly transgender person to be elected to the state legislature in Montana, is being silenced in by the Montana Republican Party for speaking the truth, which is that gender-affirming medical care is a matter of life or death for trans youth. She’s a total badass.
On Tuesday as the House was debating Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposed amendments to a measure banning gender-affirming care for minors, Zephyr spoke up in reference to the body’s opening prayer.
“I hope the next time there’s an invocation, when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” she said.
House Majority Leader Sue Vinton, a Republican, immediately called Zephyr’s comments inappropriate and disrespectful. That evening, a group of conservative lawmakers known as the Montana Freedom Caucus demanded her censure and deliberately referred to Zephyr using male pronouns in their letter and a Tweet. That’s known as misgendering — using pronouns that don’t match a person’s gender identity.
Zephyr had upset legislative leaders with emotional testimony previously this session.
She made a similar “blood on your hands” comment the first time the House heard the bill and has also given emotional testimony indicating bills that attack LGBTQ+ rights will lead to suicide.
“When there are bills targeting the LGBTQ community, I stand up to defend my community,” Zephyr told The Associated Press after she was silenced Thursday. “And I choose my words with clarity and precision, and I spoke to the real harms that these bills bring.”
Medical experts agree that gender affirming care saves lives. This has been backed up by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Medical Association.
Notice how her colleagues call for civility while misgendering Zooey:
Our Caucus is calling for the immediate censure of transgender Rep. Zooey Zephyr after his threatening and deeply concerning comments on the House floor earlier today. #mtpol pic.twitter.com/fDggbLKsJS
— Montana Freedom Caucus (@MTFreedomCaucus) April 19, 2023
On the one hand, the GOP doesn’t give a damn if trans kids kill themselves. On the other hand, someone hurt their feelings by saying that out loud. Both sides, right?
It is exhausting how the GOP continues to simply lie about the extensive research that has been done in regards to trans healthcare, and act like their actions are moral or rational. This takedown by Jon Stewart of Leslie Rutledge, the Arkansas Attorney General, remains one of the best I’ve seen if you haven’t had a chance to watch it.
Jon interviewed Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General, about why her state banned gender-affirming care for minors – ignoring the guidelines of major medical organizations and taking the decision out of parents’ hands. Watch the full interview on @AppleTVPlus pic.twitter.com/4SoH3orWa6
— The Problem With Jon Stewart (@TheProblem) October 7, 2022