Transgender Health Care and The Silencing of Zooey Zephyr


Ted Eytan

Protest for Trans Rights, Humphrey Building, Washington, DC USA

On April 26, 2023, Legislator Zooey Zephyr was barred from speaking on the house floor by Montana Republicans for commenting on the new bill being passed about youth Gender-affirming health care. 

Zephyr is a 34-year-old democrat leaning legislator, the first openly transgender woman elected in the Montana legislature. She has been an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and works towards stopping Republicans from forming bills surrounding trans youth. She is also known for her calm demeanor and her ability to remain unfazed. 

After the bill about banning gender-affirming health care for youth, Zephyr commented that anyone who votes for the bill would have “blood” on their hands. Republicans became outraged by the comment stating her language was belittling and caused civil discourse. The chamber voted, 68-32, ultimately banning Zephyr from speaking but allowing her to vote remotely. 

The silence of Zephyr sparked protests on Montana Capitol Hill, asking legislators to “let her speak” after House Speak Matt Reiger stated that her comments violated the decorum rules and, “The Montana House will not be bullied.” Reiger also told Fox News Digital that “These hate-filled remarks were an act of self-service, not public service.”

Zephyr believes that this controversy is actually beneficial to her position, telling The Associated Press, “There are many more eyes on Montana now, but you do the same thing you’ve always done. You stand up in defense of your community, and you… stand for the principles that they elected you to stand for.”

Here in Massachusetts, we have one of the best trans-health care systems in the country. According to, Massachusetts has laws that allow people to mend their birth record post-sex reassignment and mend their birth certificate without sexual reassignment surgery.

According to Anastasia Davis, a transgender teacher at Hamilton Wenham and an ongoing advocate for LGBTQ+, “We’re lucky to have the access we do in Massachusetts…” “Other states, not so much.” She explained her friends in other states did not have the same experience, and had to fight for their right to their body. 

By silencing Legislator Zooey Zephyr, health care for trans people will not be advocated for in the state of Montana, and the United States. Silencing the only trans legislator in the United States is silencing a portion of the people living and contributing to the United States.