Transgender legislator Zooey Zephyr, known for her staunch advocacy for trans rights, did not hold back when addressing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘ recent assault on the LGBTQ+ community. Zephyr, who had been censured and temporarily banned from the Montana House for opposing anti-trans legislation, decided to make her voice heard in DeSantis’ home state. Together with her fiancée, Erin Reed, an independent journalist and activist, Zephyr embarked on a journey to Florida to celebrate Pride Month and denounce the governor’s divisive policies.
Reflecting on their visit to Florida, Zephyr expressed the importance of demonstrating solidarity beyond state borders. In an interview with Newsweek, she emphasized that the fight for equality should not be confined within a single state, stating, “We recognize that our fight, and that these discriminatory policies, don’t end at state borders.” Zephyr’s motivation to confront DeSantis head-on stemmed from a desire to reaffirm the LGBTQ+ community’s unwavering resilience and refusal to retreat into the shadows.
While politicians like DeSantis continue to advance discriminatory legislation, Zephyr believes they are destined to become mere footnotes in history. She ardently expressed, “If DeSantis and others like him continue to push this hateful and discriminatory legislation, they will find what everyone else like them has found throughout history… love wins in the end.”
Erin Reed, Zephyr’s partner, shed light on the ongoing challenges faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Florida, lamenting the continuous stream of anti-queer and anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Republicans in the state have targeted the community across various fronts, including restrooms, schools, medications, and even historical representation. However, despite the oppressive legislative climate, the couple found solace and a sense of empowerment at a Pride event in West Palm Beach. Reed affirmed the enduring truth that love and joy have always prevailed in the LGBTQ+ community’s narrative.
As Reed posted delightful pictures of the couple enjoying the Florida beach on Twitter, she spoke about the significance of their presence in the heart of a state plagued by regressive laws. Despite the adversity faced, Reed stressed that their happiness and resilience served as a form of resistance. Standing up for those affected by discriminatory policies, they conveyed a powerful message: “Our joy is resistance.”
In a world where inclusivity and equality remain contested, voices like Zooey Zephyr’s and actions like the couple’s celebration of love and pride stand as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the LGBTQ+ community. As Florida’s legislature continues its assault on LGBTQ+ rights, Zephyr’s passionate advocacy and Reed’s unwavering support signal that the fight for equality is far from over.