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A Note on Nex + LGBTQIA+ History Month 2024

Updated: Mar 3

February 23, 2024


Nex Benedict was a sixteen-year-old nonbinary student attending Owasso High School in Oklahoma, United States. They were indigenous, a known member of the Choctaw community and Cherokee Nation, and had previous experience being bullied for their gender identity. Merely a month following the milestone birthday, Benedict and a transgender friend were attacked in their school’s bathroom by three older girls—a fatal assault described by Benedict’s friend as their head being repeatedly beaten against the ground. While a teacher intervened in the height of the attack, no ambulance was called for Benedict, who required aid to reach the nurse’s office. Benedict ultimately succumbed to their injuries in a hospital within reservation boundaries a day later on February 8, 2024.

This news arrives almost exactly one year following the death of Brianna Ghey, a sixteen-year-old transgender girl fatally stabbed twenty-eight times by two fellow students in Culcheth Linear Park in England after being lured to the location by two supposed friends in a premeditated attack. After being left for dead in the park once two passing dogwalkers approached the scene, Ghey passed on February 11, 2023. The identities of her murderers were recently released at the beginning of this month following their sentencing. Motives are listed as sadism, thrill, and transphobia.

We reflect on the similarities and synchronicities of these murders. As unshakeable advocates for equality and acceptance across all spectrums of sexuality, asexuality, and gender identity, the events transpiring has, like any other LGBTQIA+ homicide or suicide, struck incredibly close to home and has simultaneously dampened and strengthened the resolve of the LGBTQIA+ community.

February 2023, and the world fails Brianna Ghey. February once again, and we suffer the loss of Nex Benedict. In the foreground is the Tulsa Race Massacre, farmers protests, the recent events in the PNG Highlands, and the complete demolition of Palestine and the Gaza Strip—a genocide sponsored by American alliance with Israel. February had so much potential to mean something good: Black History Month, LGBTQIA+ History Month, the second month of a brand-new year that people intend to live to see the end of. Now February is forsaken with blood, scarred with hate, and offers measly compensations with remembrance. It is a month of intellectual death spotted with a day for love.

What love?

What love when we murder by the hundreds, thousands, millions? What love when we shut our children out of their homes? What love when Nex’s darling cat, Zeus, realizes they are not coming home? What love in a world like this, where justice cannot even be anticipated in the aftermath of the horrific?

We wish we had more to offer than simple remembrance. We wish we had more to say than worthless condolences. We wish we could hope for more for Nex than to hope that they find peace in one of the only places anyone can get it: death.

And we wish there was as much love as there is life; we would never be without.

A candlelight vigil is being held in memory of Nex Benedict on February 25, 2024, at 6:30 P.M. at 111 Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States. We invite all able to attend the service.



Discover the Resources

With the help of GLAD, GLAAD, and the CDC


a) Join Rural Oklahoma Pride for a vigil on February 24, 2024, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States.

b) Join Oklahomans for Equality for a vigil on February 25, 2024, in Owasso, Oklahoma, United States.

c) Join MMIW Texas Rematriate for a vigil on February 26, 2024, in Dallas, Texas, United States.


In loving memory of Nex Benedict (2008-2024) and Brianna Ghey (2006-2023). Rest in power.

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