Let your love take action

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From PFLAG National

Last week in the Owasso School District in Tulsa County, Oklahoma, Nex Benedict—a 16-year- old nonbinary student and member of the Choctaw Tribe—died the day after a physical fight in their school restroom. Our hearts are with Nex’s family, friends, and schoolmates, so many of whom have been so profoundly and sadly affected.

It is no coincidence that this happened in a state with the most anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the country, in a school district targeted by the dangerous and violent founder of Libs of TikTok, Chaya Raichik. It is also no coincidence that this happened in a state where the anti-LGBTQ+ State Superintendent of Schools placed Raichik on a committee to review school and library content.

Nex Benedict

Anti-trans legislation and hateful online rhetoric continue leading to real-world harm in every state in this country, impacting not only trans youth but trans people of all ages—in particular Black and brown trans women—at devastating rates.

As the parents of transgender and nonbinary young adults ourselves, we are heartsick, we are terrified for our kids, and we are angry. And whether you’ve been in this fight for a day or for decades, we know you’re feeling these feelings too—and so many others.

So as our communities come together to mourn, to comfort each other, and to share our rage, we as PFLAGers must channel all of our emotion into meaningful action in our communities.

Let your love take action to shield young nonbinary, trans, and queer people in the ways that only PFLAG can. And as hard as it is at this moment, let’s all work to channel our fear and our rage into leading with love.

  • Reach out to friends and loved ones to make sure they are okay;
  • Uplift PFLAG support meetings as a place for folks to gather in community and find each other;
  • For PFLAG chapter leaders, considering using PFLAG Connects meetings as a way to give respect, space, and grace to people whose safety does not permit them to attend events in person; and
  • Reach out to trans-led and trans-serving local organizations, as well as organizations that specifically serve youth, to ask what they need and how you can help.

Here at PFLAG National, staffers are working with our Oklahoma PFLAG chapters to ensure they have the support that they need to do their work. PFLAG National leadership is working closely with national, state, and local partners to plan actions that protect our families and nonbinary and trans youth. We are also continuing the litigation we started in Texas, North Carolina, and Missouri at the request of legal organizations who know that PFLAG is a protective factor for LGBTQ+ people and their families.

Susan Thronson (she/her)
Board of Directors, Board Chair
PFLAG National

Dr. Edith Guffey, MSW (she/her)
Board of Directors, Vice Chair
PFLAG National