Montana’s 1st Trans Woman is Elected to the Montana State House.


After her plane touched down at the airport on election night, Zooey Zephyr was struck by the significance of all she had accomplished. 

Zephyr was an openly transgender woman living in Montana. She and her supporters turned their cellphones off to see the results.

She hollered, huffed and hugged her group. Then, a flight attendant approached her and asked about the whole thing.

“I’m going to be the first trans woman to hold public office in Montana,”Zephyr said this to the woman, and she started to cry. And in that moment, Zephyr realized everything she had endured on her way to becoming her true self had been worth every second.

“My son is trans,”The flight attendant replied. The flight attendant then began to describe how difficult it was for her child feel accepted.

“She just starts crying, and then I start crying,”Zephyr was featured in Inside Edition Digital “Can I hug you?”The woman asked. “And she started telling me about what it was like having a trans son in America today.”

They shared bits of their souls as they stood together at the back.

“She showed me photos of her son,”A snap taken in Paris by the two of them. They exchanged their phone numbers. Zephyr posted a selfie of them on Twitter.

The mom “began to tell me about all the joys/fears that had come with his transition. How much happier and healthier he is now. I got to see pictures of her & her son in Paris, the two of them beaming with joy,”Zephyr posted on the social media platform.

“She also talked about how scary the world was, but how this moment gave her hope. Then we took a selfie & cried,”The representative-elect said.

Zephyr, 33, is a longtime activist for LGBTQ  rights, and works for the University of Montana. Zephyr came out around four years ago. She is making Montana history together with SJHowell, the first member of the nonbinary to be elected to the state House.

There was more for the LGBTQ community to celebrate. The 2022 midterm elections also made U.S. history with the greatest number of races won by community members across the country.

At least 340 candidates were victorious, beating the prior record of 336 in 2020.

The U.S. elected its first openly lesbian governors — Tina Kotek in Oregon and Maura Healey in Massachusetts. Erick Russell became the first Black LGBTQ person elected to Connecticut office. James Roesener in New Hampshire became the first trans man elected to a state legislature.

In a crucial contest, where the GOP’s “red wave” didn’t happen, LGTBQ candidates rode a “rainbow wave”Then it crashed. “lavender ceiling,” advocates said.

“There are two things that come to mind,”Zephyr commented on the poll results. “LGTBQ people, trans people, we are loved and accepted by our communities. We’re never far away from someone who loves us dearly. The conservative attempt to focus so heavily on us backfired,”She said.

There were many attempts to discredit her home state, including Montana officials declaring that transgender people cannot change the sex on their birth certificates and banning transgender athletes competing in women’s college sports.

Both of these efforts were thwarted by judicial orders.

“It’s a losing strategy to attack people who are loved by their communities,”Zephyr. “We’re your family, your neighbors, your colleagues. Even 30,000 feet in the air, you’re never far from someone who cares about us.”


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