Nex Benedict : “Vigils Nationwide for Nonbinary Teen Tragedy”

In a heartbreaking series of events that unfolded in Edmond, Oklahoma, vigils were held nationwide to mourn the loss of Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old student who tragically passed away after a violent altercation at Owasso High School. The incident occurred in a high school bathroom where Benedict, who identified as nonbinary and used they/them pronouns, was reportedly targeted by three girls who were bullying them and their friends.

The altercation escalated when the girls attacked Benedict after the teen poured water on them, as revealed in a video released by police. The following day, Benedict’s mother called emergency responders to their home, expressing concern over their shallow breathing and other alarming symptoms.

Across the country, vigils were organized to honor Benedict’s memory, with gatherings in cities like Boston, Minneapolis, and Huntington Beach, California. Community members came together to pay tribute to Benedict and show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

In Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the president of TahlEquality spoke about the trauma of Benedict’s death and the need for mental health support within the LGBT+ community. The vigil also featured licensed therapists to provide assistance to those in need.

In McAlester, Oklahoma, the community came together at All Saints Episcopal Church for a vigil organized by the McAlester Rainbow Connection. Matt Blancett, a member of the LGBTQ+ group, emphasized the importance of creating a supportive community in the wake of tragedies like Benedict’s passing.

As investigations continue into the circumstances surrounding Benedict’s death, the community remains united in seeking justice and advocating for the rights and safety of all individuals, especially those in marginalized communities. The outpouring of support and solidarity at the vigils serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength of communities coming together in times of adversity.

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