Statement on February 29, 2024

LUK’s heart goes out to the family and LGBTQIA+ community after the death of Nex Benedict, who was attacked in a high school bathroom in Oklahoma. Nex was targeted on the basis of gender identity. No one should be targeted for being their authentic self. Harassing, hateful, and violent behavior to induce fear in another person is unacceptable. Our society must hold responsible not only the young people who perpetrated the attack, but also the adults who continue to reinforce hate. The change starts with all of us seeking justice against discrimination. Beyond the devastating loss of Nex, there are over 450 harmful LGBTQIA+ bills across our nation targeting transgender and non-binary youth (, including one in Massachusetts. We ask our community take a stand against these bills, which cause devastating, yet preventable stress for youth. We also want to say to any young person and their families experiencing sadness that we see you and support you.
The American Pediatric Association opposes any legislation that discriminates against gender diverse individuals. Please find their affirming statement here: APA statement.
The US Health and Human Services shares a fact sheet on gender affirming care and why it matters: HHS Gender Affirming Care fact sheet
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) offers numerous factsheets, videos and webinars on supporting LGBTQIA+ youth. You can find their resources here: NCTSN LGBTQIA+ Resources
The Trevor Project offers a variety of resources for LGBTQIA+ youth, including those about gender identity and how to be an ally to transgender and non-binary youth: The Trevor Project Resources