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Who was Nex Benedict, and why are they making headlines?

Oklahoma teenager Nex Benedict died on 8th February, a day after they reported that they had been involved in a physical altercation in the toilets of their Owasso High School.

The teenager’s family members have reported that they were experiencing bullying relating to their gender identity. They were non-binary.

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Warning: This story has details of bullying and violence against a non-binary person, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Earlier this year the state passed a law requiring banning transgender people from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity, which has made some wonder if this may have been of relevance given Benedict was assaulted in the school’s bathrooms.

Local police have said that the bathroom altercation was broken up by other students and a teacher. All those who were involve din the incident were walked to the principal and nurse’s office and given a health assessment.

It was determined that no ambulance was required, but a nurse recommended that Benedict should be taken for further medical assessment. A school officer also went to the medical centre and interviewed Benedict and their guardian.

The following day Owasso Fire Department medics responded to an emergency call involving the teenager. They were taken to a a pediatric emergency facility but later died.

Benedict’s death led to speculation about the role the new bathroom laws may have played in their death with social media commentators claiming the teenager had been beaten to death.

Earlier this week however, police said initial findings of an autopsy did not support that claim.

“While the investigation continues into the altercation. preliminary information from the medical examiner’s office is that a complete autopsy was performed and indicated that the decedent did not die as a result of trauma.” police said on Wednesday.

Police said they were still waiting on toxicology results and other ancillary testing and the official autopsy report will be available at a later date.

The family have described the reports of the incident the day before Nex Benedict died as “troubling at best” and have urged authorities to undertake a detailed investigation.

“We urge those tasked with investigating and prosecuting all potentially liable parties to do so fully, fairly and expediently,” the family told local media.

A GoFund Me campaign has been launched in Nex Bededict’s name. To date it has raised over USD$144,000. The family have indicated that the amount exceeds the funeral costs and have vowed to use the additional funds to assist other children who a dealing with the right to be who they feel they are.

OIP Staff


Do you need some support?

If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, support and counselling are available from:

QLife: 1800 184 527 / qlife.org.au (Webchat 3pm – midnight)
QLife are a counselling and referral service for LGBTQIA+ people.

DISCHARGEDinfo@discharged.asn.au / discharged.asn.au
Discharged is a trans-led support service with peer support groups for trans and gender diverse folks.

Lifeline: 13 11 14 / lifeline.org.au

Beyondblue: 1300 22 4636 / www.beyondblue.org.au


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