Zooey Zephyr tells The View why Republicans are attacking trans people – and why they will fail

Zooey Zephyr and Whoopi Goldberg on The View

Montana politician Zooey Zephyr has opened up to The View‘s Whoopi Goldberg about being banned from the statehouse, and why anti-trans politicians won’t win.

In April, Zephyr was censured and banned from the Montana House for the remainder of the 2023 legislative session after speaking out against anti-trans Senate Bill 99.

The bill, which was signed into law by governor Greg Gianforte in April, bans gender-affirming care for under-18s, preventing access to physically reversible puberty blockers and “surgical procedures”. This is despite no private or public healthcare system routinely offering gender-affirming surgery to anyone in that age group.

Zephyr returned to the House on 2 May.

On Thursday’s (1 June) The View, Goldberg asked her if she was shocked by what had happened.

“It was less about banning me from the ability to speak, but what that means is they took away 11,000 constituents who had elected me,” she replied.

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“The thing that’s shocking is what are they willing to throw away to achieve their policy goals and here was the first principle of our country of elected representation.” 

Speaking about Senate Bill 99 and other anti-trans laws, Zephyr said it was important to note that trans healthcare begins with social transition – including allowing therapists to use the correct pronouns for a child.

These laws ban “healthcare that is done slowly, carefully, in conjunction with parents, doctors [and] therapists, in accordance with every major medical association’s guidelines,” Zephyr said.

“When you take the healthcare people need to live fulfilling lives, to have that pursuit of happiness, you create conditions where life becomes very difficult and that’s why we know that youth who have access to gender-affirming care have a 73 per cent reduction in suicide. 

“In my state, we heard examples of one trans teen who attempted suicide while watching one of these hearing and that’s the impact when you take healthcare away.”

Zooey Zephyr says anti-trans laws will fail

Co-host Joy Behar noted that Republican legislators have introduced nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills, with at least 15 states, including Oregon, Iowa and Alaska, considering new laws that aim to stifle LGBTQ+ discussions in schools. 

“Why are they doing this?” comedian Behar asked Zephyr.

“There’s an attempt to ‘other’ us and create a bogeyman to rally their base, but ultimately it will fail for the same reason anti-gay bills failed in the ’90s, because you’re never far from someone who’s trans, who’s LGBTQ.” 

On Twitter later, the transgender lawmaker said: “Anti-LGBTQ attacks have never been about policy. Those who hate us won’t be satisfied until we’re removed from public life entirely.” 

Zephyr has previously told PinkNews Republicans are masking America’s real issues by stirring up fear of a transgender bogeyman.