Remember the Nashville Six

Last March 27, in the run-up to the April 1 “Trans Day of Vengeance,” Audrey Hale shot her way into the Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. There Hale murdered Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9, Mike Hill, 61, William Kinney, 9, Katherine Koonce, 60, Cynthia Peak, 61, and Hallie Scruggs, nine years old and the daughter of Covenant Presbyterian pastor Chad Scruggs. The victims died of multiple gunshot wounds and Hale also applied blunt force trauma to William Kinney and Katherine Koonce.

A former student at the school, Hale carefully planned the attack for months. Police and the FBI blocked release of her “manifesto” and trans activists were adamant that the material not be released. The Trans Resistance Network proclaimed that Audrey Hale “had no other effective way to be seen than to lash out by taking the life of others.”

Over at the White House, Joe Biden failed to identify or condemn the shooter, failed to name a single murder victim, and did not attend any of the funerals. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said “our hearts go out to the trans community as they are under attack right now.”

Contrast that response with the case of Nex Benedict. The “gender expansive” teen did not die from “trauma” resulting from a high-school fight in Owasso, Oklahoma, in February.  The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide due to  “combined toxicity from diphenhydramine and fluoxetine.” On March 14, Joe Biden released this statement:

Jill and I are heartbroken by the recent loss of Nex Benedict. Every young person deserves to have the fundamental right and freedom to be who they are, and feel safe and supported at school and in their communities. Nex Benedict, a kid who just wanted to be accepted, should still be here with us today.

Nonbinary and transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know. But nobody should have to be brave just to be themselves. In memory of Nex, we must all recommit to our work to end discrimination and address the suicide crisis impacting too many nonbinary and transgender children. Bullying is hurtful and cruel, and no one should face the bullying that Nex did. Parents and schools must take reports of bullying seriously. My prayers are with Nex’s family, friends, and all who loved them – and to all LGBTQI+ Americans for whom this tragedy feels so personal, know this: I will always have your back.

To LGBTQI+ young people across the country – you are loved exactly as you are. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or alone, you can call or text 988, the National Crisis Hotline, and dial the number ‘3’ to talk to a counselor who has been specifically trained to support LGBTQI+ youth.

LGBTQI+ is a construct, not a community. The trans movement, as Bruce Bawer explains, is a “revolution against reality itself.” The struggle against trans violence is the struggle of memory against forgetting.

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