Statement from the BCH LGBTQ+ Committee

Mourning Nex Benedict

On February 7th, 2024, a 16-year-old nonbinary indigenous student in Oklahoma, Nex Benedict, was brutally attacked in their high school bathroom by three older students. Nex died the following day. Nex’s school did not seek medical care for Nex after the attack, and instead suspended Nex for two weeks. Nex’s mother later sought emergency care for them, and Nex died shortly thereafter. Nex, whose mother is a member of the Chocktaw Nation, was an excellent student, had a cat they loved and cared for, enjoyed reading, playing Minecraft, and drawing. Nex was bullied repeatedly for being themself—a trauma no youth should endure. Nex deserved so much better, and we mourn the great loss of their short life.

Nex’s death comes at a time of an ever-increasing number of anti-trans bills being introduced and passed. According to the ACLU, in 2022, 269 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced nationwide. In 2023, that number rose to 510. In 2024 there have already been 452 ant-LGBTQ bills introduced to state legislature. The stark increase in anti-trans legislation directly impacts the lives of trans and gender-diverse youth in our community. In Oklahoma, where Nex lived, Nex was required by law to use the bathroom aligned with the sex designated on their birth certificate, not one aligned with their gender. It was in the bathroom they were forced to use that Nex was attacked. Like the legislation in Oklahoma, California has seen an increase in legislation targeting trans and gender-diverse minors. Here in California, there are ongoing attempts to ban trans and gender-diverse minors from receiving life-saving gender-affirming medical care, preventing trans girls from competing in school sports, and attempting to prevent trans youth from using safe bathrooms and locker rooms at school. There are also efforts being made to require that schools disclose a child’s gender identity to their families without their permission.

As members of the BCH Oakland LGBTQ+ Committee, we understand it is our shared responsibility as medical care providers to do all that we can to protect trans and gender-diverse children and youth in our community, both in and outside of our hospital. All children deserve the safety and freedom to learn, grow, play, and to be themselves. We will continue to strive towards making our hospital and wider community a safer place for trans and gender-diverse youth. We mourn Nex’s tragic death, and we hope that Nex’s life can inspire our community to do better for our children and youth.

If you would like to learn more about ways to support trans and gender-diverse minors, please see the following resources:

The Trevor Project-


Trans Lifeline -

Rainbow Youth Project USA-

Gender Spectrum-