Nex Benedict : “Non-Binary Oklahoma Teen Vigil: Honoring Their Memory”

Remembering Nex Benedict: Community Gathers for Vigil in Edmond, Okla.

On a somber evening in Edmond, Okla., more than two dozen people came together at All Saints Episcopal Church to honor the memory of Nex Benedict, a non-binary teenager who tragically passed away following a fight at their high school. The vigil, organized by the McAlester Rainbow Connection, was just one of many scheduled nationwide to pay tribute to Nex’s life.

A Tragic Loss

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old student at Owasso High School, identified as non-binary and used they/them pronouns. Following a confrontation in a school bathroom, which escalated after Benedict poured water on some classmates who were bullying them, the teen tragically lost their life the next day.

Support and Solidarity

Matt Blancett, a member of the LGBTQ+ group Rainbow Connection, emphasized the importance of coming together as a community in the wake of such a devastating loss. Blancett noted that holding a vigil in McAlester was particularly meaningful, given the tragic murder of transgender man Dustin Parker in 2020.

Seeking Justice

In the aftermath of Nex’s passing, Benedict’s mother, Sue Benedict, initially expressed a desire to press charges. However, she later decided against it, instead urging authorities to address underlying issues at Owasso High School. A search warrant was issued to collect evidence from the scene of the altercation, but preliminary autopsy results suggest that Nex’s death was not directly related to the fight.

Continuing the Conversation

As the community mourns the loss of Nex Benedict, vigils are planned not only in Oklahoma but also in states across the country. These gatherings serve as a reminder of the importance of supporting one another and fostering a sense of unity in the face of tragedy.

Let us continue to remember Nex Benedict and stand in solidarity with all those who have been affected by this heartbreaking loss.

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