Nex Benedict : “Vigils for Nonbinary Teen – Tragic School Bathroom Fight”

In Edmond, Oklahoma, vigils were held in honour of 16-year-old Nex Benedict, a nonbinary student who tragically passed away following a fight at Owasso High School. The incident stemmed from bullying, with three girls attacking Benedict after being doused with water. The altercation led to Benedict experiencing medical distress the following day, prompting a call to emergency responders.

Across the nation, communities came together to remember Benedict, with vigils held in locations like Boston, Minneapolis, and Huntington Beach, California. The outpouring of support highlighted the impact of bullying and the importance of standing up against discrimination.

At the Huntington Beach event, Kanan Durham, executive director of Pride at the Pier, emphasised the need for continued advocacy beyond the vigils. The LGBTQ+ community in Oklahoma also rallied together, with a vigil in Tahlequah providing a space for reflection and support.

In McAlester, Oklahoma, the Rainbow Connection organised a vigil to honour Benedict, drawing parallels to the murder of transgender man Dustin Parker in 2020. The importance of community support and solidarity was underscored by organisers and attendees alike.

Police investigations into the incident are ongoing, with a focus on gathering evidence and understanding the circumstances surrounding Benedict’s death. The preliminary autopsy results suggest that the cause of death may not be directly linked to the altercation, prompting further examination.

As the community mourns the loss of Nex Benedict, there is a renewed determination to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and combat bullying in schools. The vigils serve as a reminder of the impact of discrimination and the need for unity in creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all individuals.

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