Breaking News
  • March 254/12: M-STEP for 11th Graders
  • March 254/11: ACT WorkKeys for 11th graders
  • March 254/10: No school for 12th graders
  • March 254/10: SAT for 11th graders
  • March 254/10: PSAT for 9th and 10th Graders
  • March 254/20: Prom
  • March 253/28-4/7: Spring Break
The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The loss of Nex Benedict shook the indigenous and LGBTQ+ communities

Nex was a well-loved person in many spaces and their loss impacted many.
Wikipedia
Nex was a well-loved person in many spaces and their loss impacted many.

Nex Benedict was a 16-year-old who brought a smile to two different communities that face adversity in their home state of Oklahoma. Nex, being both a member of the LGBTQ+ and indigenous peoples communities, constantly was fighting an uphill battle just to get by in comparison to their peers. Despite this, Nex was a kid who loved to bond with others, especially over their love of rock music, and was well-immersed in their Choctaw culture. 

However, on Feb. 8, Nex was killed in their own school. While using the restroom they were forced to use—the one that matched their gender assigned at birth—Nex was severely beaten by several older girls. A teacher finally stepped in, but by then, the damage had already been done. Nex went home, having severe head pain, and was briefly treated for their injuries by a medical professional.

The next day, Nex passed away due to head trauma.

While news outlets across the country report different stories about the situation, the heart of the story remains the same: Nex was beaten to death in a school bathroom by their peers. Nobody, especially a teenager who was just attempting to use the restroom at school, deserves to be killed—and in such a brutal way.

Nobody, especially a teenager who was just attempting to use the restroom at school, deserves to be killed—and in such a brutal way.

Nex wasn’t on bad terms with these girls either—allegedly, the attack was completely random. In a video released of Nex in the hospital before their death, where they were seemingly alright before their state deteriorated, Nex stated that they didn’t know who the girls were or why they attacked them. It wasn’t a school fight; the situation was an unprovoked and unjust attack on Nex.

Another fact that is often left out of Nex’s story is that while they identified as gender nonconforming, they were two-spirit as well. Two-spirit is an all-too-forgotten aspect of the LGBTQ+ community but is perhaps one of the most historical and widely understood within the indigenous community. Two-spirit is a gender identity that native peoples used to define individuals who took on both traditionally male and female roles in the community and were seen as neither a man nor a woman but a different gender.

As a result, Nex’s death is not just a burning hole in the separate spheres of the queer and indigenous communities but rather a representation of the way that the two converge. The death of Nex is not just a symbol of hate and violence against the LGBTQ+ community, but also the indigenous peoples.

Nex’s death stands as yet another member of the LGBTQ+ community lost to hate and violence. The young deaths of queer individuals are alarmingly high, and Nex’s death is, tragically, another one added to the list. Nex was a stand-out teen who was a strong individual and stood proudly for every aspect of their life; their life should never have been cut short the way that it was. People have been drawn together to mourn the loss of Nex—even after they passed on, Nex brings people together.

Rest in peace, Nex Benedict.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Eva Harshman
Eva Harshman, Editor-in-Chief
Eva Harshman is a senior who is thrilled to be entering her fourth and final year on staff as Editor-in-Chief. Apart from writing for The Central Trend, she enjoys riding her Thoroughbred, Thirsty, spending time with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows for hours on end. She is also an avid competitor in Odyssey of the Mind alongside her teammates who also happen to be her best friends. Although she tends to stick around the people she knows best, The Central Trend has broadened her horizons beyond compare. Being a part of Room 139 has taught her so much; she has met so many people thanks to The Central Trend.   Favorite type of story: Editorials Pets: A bunny (Georgie), a dog (Leon), and a horse (Thirsty) Dream vacation: Tokyo, Japan Favorite books: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie MBTI and Enneagram: ENTP-T 8w7

Comments (0)

All The Central Trend Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *