The final two weeks for Montana’s first trans lawmaker, Zooey Zephyr, and her girlfriend (now fiancée) Erin Reed, have been as onerous to look at from afar as they’ve been awe-inspiring.
First, on April twenty sixth, republican lawmakers — who maintain the bulk — voted to censure Rep. Zephyr in a party-line vote, barring her from the ground for the rest of the legislative session. This got here after she spoke out towards proposed laws that may ban gender-affirming look after transgender minor. The invoice, referred to as Montana Senate Invoice 99, prevents the administration of puberty blockers and has since been singed into regulation by Gov. Greg Gianforte. Talking on the Home ground, Zephyr warned her colleagues “in the event you vote sure on this invoice and sure on these amendments, I hope the following time there’s an invocation, whenever you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood in your fingers.”
Zephyr’s censure got here after Tennessee Republicans issued an identical retaliation towards Democrats of their state for main protests towards gun violence on the Home ground after the GOP refused to take motion following a mass capturing at a Nashville college. Tennessee state Reps. Justin Jones, Justin Pearson, and Gloria Johnson led the protests, with the 2 black lawmakers — Jones and Pearson — being made to face the censure. Each males have since been reinstated to their seats.
Although they initially tried to have me faraway from the general public seating space, I’m right here engaged on behalf of my constituents as finest I can given the undemocratic circumstances.
I am speaking to legislators, listening to debate, voting on payments, and combating for democracy. pic.twitter.com/Ea8y7a48LC
— Rep. Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) April 27, 2023
Following her censure, Zephyr powerfully started finishing her work from the general public hallways of the Montana Home, regardless of various intimidation tactics. She has been steadfast that she’ll proceed to work “on behalf of my constituents as finest I can given the undemocratic circumstances.” Zephyr was elected to her place with greater than 80% of the vote and represents 11,000 constituents.
Zephyr additionally filed an emergency order permitting her to return to the Home ground. The district courtroom choose ruled against her, upholding the choice of the GOP lawmakers. Zephyr and the ACLU of Montana are actually suing the state over a violation of her First modification rights, in addition to the rights of her constituents.
Somebody simply tried to SWAT my girlfriend.
Those that hate trans individuals are doing all the things of their energy to silence & hurt us. However we won’t be deterred.
We’ll stand in defiance of their cruelty, and by no means cease working till trans individuals get to reside our lives in peace. https://t.co/FGf86vu0nj
— Rep. Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) May 2, 2023
Final week Tuesday, there was a a SWATing try — a harassment tactic the place somebody falsely calls the police towards an harmless goal, wit the aim of getting their home invaded — towards Zephyr and her companion, Erin Reed, an impartial journalist and LGBT activist. The try happened at Reed’s house in Maryland. Reed, who noticed such a factor coming, had beforehand been involved along with her native police division. She credit that forward thinking partly for stopping the SWATing try from ending in potential violence. Reed is probably most well-known for her impartial work creating a map that breaks down legislative dangers to trans individuals throughout all 50 states.
I do know that this an extended and possibly even intense story to guide into an engagement announcement publish — content material that we at Autostraddle historically label form of tongue-in-cheek as “vapid fluff.” I couldn’t deliver myself to make use of that label right here, as a result of I don’t discover something “vapid” nor “fluffy” about Zooey Zephyr and Erin Reed’s sensible, decided, resolute love story. Theirs is proof that love is a revolution.
On Friday, whereas at a neighborhood queer promenade (🥺!!) Zephyr proposed. The couple introduced their engagement on social media quickly after.
Tonight I requested Erin to marry me.
A 12 months in the past, I informed Erin that I used to be on the lookout for a love that felt like house.
I’ve discovered that and a lot extra. I’ve discovered my future, my household, and my eternally. pic.twitter.com/ntLayGwGJo
— Rep. Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) May 6, 2023
“A 12 months in the past, I informed Erin that I used to be on the lookout for a love that felt like house,” wrote Zephyr. “I’ve discovered that and a lot extra. I’ve discovered my future, my household, and my eternally.”
At Queer Promenade tonight, Zooey dropped to at least one knee and requested me to spend eternally along with her.
I mentioned sure.
I can consider no higher particular person on this world to face facet by facet with.
She has made me the luckiest girl alive. pic.twitter.com/70oXTWKimT
— Erin Reed (@ErinInTheMorn) May 6, 2023
“Zooey dropped to at least one knee and requested me to spend eternally along with her,” Reed shared. “I mentioned sure. I can consider no higher particular person on this world to face facet by facet with. She has made me the luckiest girl alive.”
On behalf of everybody at Autostraddle, I need to want Zooey and Erin nothing however power and happiness — the identical power and happiness that they’re reflecting again on us as a queer group each single day. This struggle that we’re in, it’s ugly. However on the opposite facet of that struggle is love. Getting us via the struggle can also be love. Let there all the time be love.