Statement on the Continued Silencing of Montana Representative Zooey Zephyr
Update: Since this statement was written, the Montana legislature has barred Rep. Zephyr from being present for the rest of the legislative session.
For over a week, Montana Representative Zooey Zephyr has not been permitted to speak in meetings of the Montana Legislature. As the Montana House discusses a bill that would ban gender affirming care and would allow schools to misgender children over their parents’ wishes, Representative Zephyr has asked to speak and been denied day after day. Rep. Zephyr’s fellow legislators on the Republican side have not only refused to allow her to speak but some have deliberately misgendered her.
Advocates for Youth commends Rep. Zephyr for her commitment to the safety of transgender young people and for standing with Montanans who are calling for a stop to the attacks on trans youth.
Gender-affirming care is a course of treatment that has been endorsed by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and proven over decades to be vital to the mental health and wellbeing of transgender people. It is age-appropriate, life-saving, medically necessary care. Montana joins Republican-led legislatures around the country in making it a priority to endanger trans children and teens and their families. These politicians are harming transgender people and standing between families and their chosen medical care.
We urge the leadership of the Montana legislature to do what’s right and allow Rep. Zephyr to represent her constituents.