Wednesday, February 21, 2024

HRC President Responds to the Tragic Death of Nex Benedict

Following the tragic death of Nex Benedict (pictured), a 16-year-old non-binary high school student from Owasso, Oklahoma who proudly embraced their Choctaw roots, HRC is sharing a statement from Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC):

“The death of Nex Benedict, a non-binary teenager who died after being brutally assaulted in their high school, is a gut-wrenching tragedy that exposes the chilling reality of anti-trans hatred. The depths of this cruelty is sickening. Nex's life demands justice. We are reaching out to the DOJ, we are encouraging the community to speak out. We are determined to fight for Nex and their family.”

“Nex – you deserved so much more than your too-short life. You should have had the chance to make headlines for your life, not your death. LGTBQ+ children, our children, deserve more than fear, bullying, and premature obituaries.”

HRC has also published a blog honoring Nex’s life, which you can read here. Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, writes:

“All students, including trans and gender-expansive students like Nex, have the right to feel safe and protected while attending school. That Nex was only 16 years old compounds this tragic injustice and they should have lived to see a fulfilling and authentic life. We continue to see a horrifying amount of violence against our community, and our community’s youth seem to be bearing the brunt of it all. Extremist anti-LGBTQ+ hate accounts, like online troll Chaya Raichick, the woman behind “Libs of TikTok”, who was recently appointed to Oklahoma’s library advisory board, are perpetuating a vile and hateful narrative that is permitting these types of public attacks. Their hateful speech is having a direct, negative impact on the lives of trans and gender-expansive folks, including young students like Nex.”