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HomeActivismEquality Virginia announces Commonwealth Dinner keynote speaker and Outstanding Virginians.

Equality Virginia announces Commonwealth Dinner keynote speaker and Outstanding Virginians.

Equality Virginia recently announced Montana Rep. Zooey Zephyr as the keynote speaker for our 20th annual Commonwealth Dinner on October 7. Rep. Zephyr is the first trans woman to hold public office in Montana and has been a fierce advocate for affordable housing, healthcare, and human rights throughout Montana.

Zephyr has received nationwide attention, both potion and negative, for her vocal opposition of multiple anti-LGBT bills introduced during the 2023 Montana legislative session. During a floor debate on April 18, 2023, Zephyr admonished those who supported Senate Bill 99, which prohibits gender-affirming medical and surgical care for minors.
She commented, “If you are forcing a trans child to go through puberty when they are trans, that is tantamount to torture, and this body should be ashamed.”

This and other comments resulted in her speaking privileges being revoked after an almost unanimous vote by the House Republicans. Her privileges have yet to be restored.

In a statement, EV said, “Rep. Zephyr’s leadership and bravery in taking on her colleagues in defense of gender-affirming care shows great strength and the vital importance of LGBTQ+ and allied representation at all levels of government.”

In addition to Zephyr, four Outstanding Virginians will be recognized for their service the LGBTQ+ communities in their regions:

  • Liam Hudson, Co-Founder and CEO of the Lean In Project, the only LGBTQIA+ specific crisis service provider in Southside Virginia.
  • Brianna Diaz, Policy and Legislative Council with the ACLU of Virginia.
  • Phillip Crosby, Executive Director of the Triangle Players.
  • Danny Lawson, Executive Director of the Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition.
  • The Pride Liberation Project.

The Virginia  Commonwealth Dinner is Virginia’s premier black tie LGBTQ+ gala to honor and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Featuring a silent auction, entertainment and guest speakers, the Commonwealth Dinner is an event you don’t want to miss. Tickets on sale now.


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