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Statement: The Los Angeles LGBT Center Responds to Nex Benedict’s Reported Cause of Death Revealed in Autopsy

Benedict lost his life last month following a physical altercation at school.
A bullying victim due to their gender identity, he succumbed to the consequences of a hostile environment and case mishandling by the Owasso Public Schools District.

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2024– In response to a medical examiner’s report finding evidence of a toxic mix of substances in the 16-year-old nonbinary high school student in Oklahoma, the Center’s Chief Impact Officer, Terra Rusell-Slavin issued the following statement: 

“Our deepest condolences remain with Nex Benedict’s family, friends, and loved ones at this time—and we continue to uplift Nex’s memory as our community seeks justice in his name. The medical examiner’s report does not change the central truth of this tragic situation: Nex was needlessly and relentlessly bullied in a school and political environment that alienated him simply for expressing himself and living his truth. No matter the cause of death, his tragic passing is the failure of educators and elected officials who sought to use him and our community as a punching bag so they could advance their harmful ideology. This anti-LGBTQ+ movement is threatening the safety of our youth in schools everywhere, from Oklahoma to Glendale, CA, and beyond—and we won’t stand for it. The Center remains committed to advancing the equity of LGBTQ+ people—especially our trans family—and remains on standby for pending investigation results from the U.S. Dept of Education” said Terra Russell-Slavin, Chief Impact Officer at the Los Angeles LGBT Center

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call or text 988 to reach the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or go to for a list of additional resources.


About the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at 

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