Nex Benedict’s Life Mattered!

Nex Benedict’s life mattered, non-binary people’s lives matters, trans people's lives matter, and the lives of every LGBTQIA+ person matters!

TW: Description of transmisia, anti-trans brutality and institutional murder

On 25th May, 2022 Oklahoma State Governor, Kevin Stitt signed SB 615 into law. According to this harmful piece of legislation, schools all over the state are required to make sure that students use bathrooms based on the sex assigned on their birth certificates over the gender they identify with. When the Oklahoma law changed, it emboldened the already conservative and anti-LGBTQ+ communities of the state to perpetuate more conservative practices.

Like that of Ryan Walters’. The State Superintendent for Oklahoma, whose transphobic rhetoric has been the basis for most policies put forth in Oklahoma schools in the last year. In a video uploaded to the official Oklahoma State Department of Education’s youtube channel titled ‘Protecting Students from Leftist Social Experiments by Upholding the Law’, he talks about how telling children that the gender spectrum exists is dangerous. The tweet promoting the same states, “No Child should feel fear in their school bathroom… Leftist social experiments and ideologies have no breeding ground here in Oklahoma… My administration will do everything in its power to uphold and enforce the law to protect our most vulnerable.”

This narrative that cis children sharing bathrooms with their trans peers puts them at risk of some kind of harm is a narrative the far right has used to fear-monger conservatives for far too long. The truth is the opposite. Trans children and adults are the vulnerable group, who when made to use bathrooms based on their biological sex are at risk of crimes being committed against them. Many cases of the same have been reported and unfortunately another gets added to that list. That was the case of Nex Benedict.

Also read: 16-year-old Child Loses His Life to Ableism and Homophobia at DPS Faridabad

A 16-year-old non-binary student at Owasso High School, was brutally beaten up by three older girls from their high school in the girls’ bathroom. Nex had been experiencing bullying since early-2023, only a few months after the transphobic law was passed in the state. On the day of the incident they were allegedly knocked to the ground and hit their head on the floor. What makes this situation worse is that the school failed to call the police to file a report for this hate crime or call an ambulance for Nex to be checked out safely for any further injuries; instead they suspended them for 2 weeks. These accounts of the incident come from Nex’s mother, who further shared that Nex had bruises over their face and eyes, and scratches on the back of their head. This incident occurred on February 7th and unfortunately due to their injuries, Nex died the very next day on February 8th.

Nex Benedict was a victim of anti-LGBTQ+ propaganda pushed by the far right in the US. Their death is a direct consequence of the targeting of trans children at the behest of legislation perpetuated by Republicans like Kevin Stitt and Ryan Walters. This loss of life comes after State Superintendent, Ryan Walters’ decision to appoint the founder of Libs of TikTok, Chaya Rachika, as a member of the state Library Board. Chaya is neither a librarian, nor a parent or even from the state of Oklahoma. She was likely appointed to this position due to Walters favoritism for bullying accounts like hers and her anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs.

Also read: After NCERT Hesitates to Embrace Gender-Affirming Practices, Paediatricians ‘Warn’ Parents at Transphobic Conference

Chaya Rachika is familiar with creating an unsafe environment at Owasso High School, as just last year she posted a video on the TikTok account mocking a teacher from the school for supporting queer and trans students. The teacher, who was one of Nex’s favorites, had to resign following the backlash she received for the same.

Nex Benedict’s life mattered, non-binary people’s lives matters, trans people’s lives matter, and the lives of every LGBTQIA+ person matters!

Nex Benedict’s story is just another look at how politicians who use anti-trans rhetoric to pad their vote-banks, are actually putting the lives of these young people at risk. Nex Benedict’s death was the fault of the students who felt emboldened to practice this hate crime, but it was people like Kevin Stitt, Ryan Walters, and Chaya Rachika who enabled it.

One thought on “Nex Benedict’s Life Mattered!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Yashaswiny Dinkar is like fire. She is a psychologist, writer and a Koda enthusiast. (Koda = pet dog = soulmate). Her laugh, energy and enthusiasm are infectious. The high decibels of her voice are comparable only to her affection and consideration. It is evident in the way she educates people about feminism, pushes for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and spreads awareness about mental health. If someone tries to hurt people she cares about, her fire can burn them to ashes. She is driven to achieve her goal of becoming a published author and does not let any opportunity pass by. But she does not push other people down in the process but instead illuminates the path for them. Yashaswiny Dinkar is a happy bonfire, a soft candle flame, a protective flamethrower and a guiding torch. Yashaswiny Dinkar is fire.

We hate spam as much as you. Enter your email address here.