After Montana Republican legislators voted to ban transgender Rep. Zooey Zephyr from the legislative session on the House floor until early next week, she took a seat on a bench outside the floor.
Armed with a laptop, she was left to monitor the debates and vote across from a snack stand in a hallway.
Missoula is a progressive college town that Zephyr represents, where she was elected last year after campaigning for marginalized people, winning about 80% of the vote.
She dared to tell her Republican colleagues that the anti-trans gender-affirming care they were about to ban would result in “blood on their hands.” She said passing a bill to prohibit hormone treatments and surgical care for transgender minors would be “tantamount to torture.”
Meanwhile, Montana governor Greg Gianforte’s son identifies as gay and non-binary, and is encouraging his dad not to sign the bill.
David Gianforte, 32, who uses “he” and “they” pronouns, says they met with their father late last month to urge him against supporting measures they called “immoral, unjust, and frankly a violation of human rights.”The Hill
Gianforte said he reached out first by e-mail, asking “as your constituent and your son” that he veto the bills — including one that defines sex as strictly binary in state law.
Among Montana proponents of the bill that would ban most gender-affirming care for minors is Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe.
“There is strong consensus among the most prominent medical organizations worldwide that evidence-based, gender-affirming care for transgender children and adolescents is medically necessary and appropriate. It can even be lifesaving,” wrote Moira Szilagyi, 2022 president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “The decision of whether and when to start gender-affirming treatment, which does not necessarily lead to hormone therapy or surgery, is personal and involves careful consideration by each patient and their family.”
- Adopting gender-affirming hairstyles, clothing, name, gender pronouns, and restrooms and other facilities can be done at any age and is reversible.
- Using certain types of hormones to pause pubertal development can be done during puberty and can be reversible.
- Testosterone hormones for those who were assigned female at birth and estrogen hormones for those who were assigned male at birth. Treatment is done early in adolescence or onward and is partially reversible.
- Gender affirming surgeries are typically done for adults, but can be done for adolescents on a case-by-case basis. This kind of care is considered non-reversible.