Bottcher welcomes exiled Montana state lawmaker Zooey Zephyr to New York

Councilembmer Erik Bottcher with State Representative Zooey Zephyr at City Hall on May 9.
Councilembmer Erik Bottcher with State Representative Zooey Zephyr at City Hall on May 9.

Zooey Zephyr, the out trans state lawmaker who was barred from speaking on the floor of the Montana State Legislature, visited Manhattan Councilmember Erik Bottcher on May 9 and received a tour of City Hall.

“Had a great visit w/ Councilman Bottcher,” Zephyr tweeted alongside photos of the two together. “I learned about City Hall’s history — which sounded old enough to have been built while Glacial Lake Missoula was still standing.”

She added: “We also discussed commonalities & differences in addressing community needs across the rural/urban divide.”

Zephyr, who represents Missoula in the 100th District of the Montana House of Representatives, has received an outpouring of support from around the nation since she faced punishment from her colleagues for saying GOP lawmakers who supported restrictions on gender-affirming care would have “blood on their hands.”

Zephyr was initially silenced in the chamber, but she was subsequently forced to vote remotely for the remainder of the legislative session.

“Today I had the honor of welcoming Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr to New York City Hall,” Bottcher wrote in a Twitter post of his own. “The first openly transgender woman elected to the Montana Legislature, Zooey was prevented from speaking on the chamber floor when she refused to apologize for telling colleagues who supported a ban on gender-affirming care for youths that they would have ‘blood’ on their hands.”

It has been a busy week for Zephyr, who also announced her engagement after proposing to her girlfriend, Erin Reed, a trans writer and activist.

Zephyr was elected for the first time last year when she made history as the first out trans person elected to the Montana State Legislature. She is running for re-election.