How you can support queer and trans kids in Oklahoma after Nex Benedict’s death

Author: Kayla Gagnet

The death of Oklahoma teenager Nex Benedict has sparked an outpouring of grief in the LGBTQ+ community.

Benedict died earlier this month, one day after being beaten in a school bathroom by three older girls. The nonbinary 16-year-old had been bullied at school for more than a year, their family said.

Authorities have said Benedict’s death was not the result of trauma, and they have not yet released a specific cause of death or filed any criminal charges. Local and national LGBTQ+ advocacy groups are calling for the Justice Department and other federal agencies to investigate Benedict’s death, as well as the school and local police response.

Many are blaming Oklahoma’s anti-trans policies – including a new law that bars students from using the school restroom that aligns with their gender identity – for the bullying and beating that led to Benedict’s death.

If you’re looking to turn your grief into action, here’s what you can do to help queer and trans kids in Oklahoma:

Donate to local groups in Oklahoma

Freedom Oklahoma works to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community across Oklahoma and the land’s 39 sovereign tribal nations. They support Gender and Sexuality Alliances at schools and provide name and gender marker correction support services, among other things.

Oklahomans for Equality provides a variety of resources for people across the 2SLGBTQ+ spectrum, and their Equality Center in Tulsa is one of the largest in the region. Their website also provides resources for contacting state and local lawmakers.

Trans Advocacy Coalition of Oklahoma is a nonprofit committed to advancing the rights of transgender people in the state. They accept donations and also sell merchandise that benefits their work.

Donate to national organizations supporting queer kids

Stand With Trans is a national organization that empowers and supports trans youth. They accept donations and also volunteers to help with virtual and in-person programming.

The Rainbow Youth Project offers free mental health support for LGBTQIA+ youth, and their crisis calls have spiked since Nex’s death. You can donate, print out brochures with resources and sign up as a volunteer.

GLSEN works to support and protect queer kids at K-12 schools. You can donate to the national organization and get connected to local chapters in many states.

Write a letter to trans youth

Transgender and nonbinary kids are vulnerable and scared. The Human Rights Commission’s Parents for Transgender Equality Council is collecting letters in support of trans children, to remind them they’re loved and supported.

You can submit your letter on the HRC website.

Participate in a memorial service

GLAAD has compiled a list of in-person memorial services in Oklahoma to honor Nex:


  • 2/23 in McAlester at 6 PM at All Saints Episcopal Church organized by McAlester community members
  • 2/23 in Stillwater at 6 PM at St. Andrew’s Church organized by Stillwater community members


  • 2/24 in Norman at 5:30 PM at Andrews Park hosted by Norman Community Members
  • 2/24 in OKC at 6:30 PM at @pointagallery in OKC organized by Rural Oklahoma Pride
  • 2/24 in Tahlequah at 7 PM at Norris Park by Tahlequality


  • 2/25 in Bartlesville at 6:30 PM at Disciples Christian Church by Oklahomans for Equality Bartlesville
  • 2/25 at 6:30 at Guthrie Green by Trans Advocacy Coalition of Oklahoma (TACO)
  • 2/25 at 7 PM at 816 W Gore Blvd Lawton, OK by UU Lawton OK Pride


  • 2/26 at 5:30 PM at the Stonewall Inn in New York, by New Alternatives NYC

Are there other resources we should include on this list? Email to let us know.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Kayla Gagnet

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