Rest in Power, Nex Benedict

February 23, 2024

We are filled with grief and rage in the wake of the death of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary, indigenous 16-year-old child in Oklahoma.

Nex Benedict

Nex – a straight-A sophomore in high school who loved to draw, listen to music, and spend time with their cat, Zeus – was assaulted in a bathroom at their high school by three other students and died the next day.

Like all children, Nex deserved to live, learn, and grow. Nex’s grandmother, Sue, said: “I was so proud of Nex. They were going some place, they were so free. Nex had a light in them that was so big, they had so many dreams.”

It is impossible to ignore the fact that Nex was robbed of their life and future amidst the backdrop of a dangerous and escalating nationwide campaign of hatred towards transgender people.

According to the trans legislation tracker, 503 anti-trans bills were introduced across the US in 2023, with 85 bills passing. In 2024, there are already 468 anti-trans bills being tracked, with Oklahoma ranking highest on the list, with a total of 59 bills introduced in the state so far.

LGTBQ rights groups have begged state legislators to understand that targeting transgender children with their hateful legislation has deadly consequences. We’ve shouted from the rooftops that giving bigots like Ryan Walters or Chaya Raichik power over kids’ schools has deadly consequences. Across the country, LGTBQ people and their allies have been showing up to committee meetings, capitol buildings, and rallying in communities with a singular message: the hate, false propaganda and harmful legislation being pushed by the anti-LGTBQ hate movement will result in the deaths of transgender, gender expansive and two spirit kids. Children learn from adults how they should treat others. With the death of Nex, we see just what Oklahoma children have learned from the anti-LGTBQ hate movement. We must use our grief and rage to unite in a demand for historic action for trans personhood and rights, once and for all.

We encourage those seeking community and space to grieve and honor Nex’s life to attend a vigil being hosted by Thomas Edison High School Gender and Sexuality Alliance tonight in the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers parking lot at 8:00pm. You can find the event details here.

Additionally, you can read Freedom Oklahoma’s statement on Nex’s death here.

A better world is possible, and for the memory of every trans life lost, we must make that world real. Rest in Power, Nex Benedict.

Join the Vigil for Nex Tonight

What We Fight For

Where Barriers Occur