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Biden Comments on Nex Benedict's Suicide

'Nonbinary and transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know,’ said the Democrat

Biden Comments on Nex Benedict's Suicide

The Biden administration is publicly addressing the death of a transgender-identifying teen whose cause of death was determined to be a suicide by overdose.

The biologically female teen, who went by the name Nex Benedict, died in Oklahoma on Feb. 8. Video of the teen instigating a fight the day before in a high school bathroom went viral and caused many to speculate she had died as a result of the incident. On March 13, an Oklahoma corner reported that Benedict died after overdosing on Diphenhydramine and Fluoxetine.

President Joe Biden is now publicly mourning Benedict’s death.

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,” said Biden in a March 14 statement. “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,” the president continued. “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.”

Biden used they/them pronouns to refer to Benedict and encouraged “LGBTQI+ young people across the country” to contact the National Crisis Hotline if they are feeling “overwhelmed or alone” by calling or texting 988. He said anyone using this resource could dial 3 to be connected to a “counselor who has been specifically trained to support LGBTQI+ youth.”

The medical examiner had already said after a preliminary autopsy that the teen had not died as a result of any injuries that could have been sustained during the fight.

"From the beginning of this investigation, Owasso Police observed many indications that this death was the result of suicide," the Owasso Police Department said in a statement after Benedict’s cause of death was released, per CBS News. "However, investigators did not wish to confirm that information without the final results being presented by the Oklahoma Medical Examiners Office."

The police department encouraged anyone in crisis or contemplating suicide to contact the Oklahoma Mental Health Lifeline.

In compliance with state law, a full autopsy report will be available in 10 days.

Benedict’s death prompted outrage among transgender activists and pro-LGBTQ groups that have publicly objected to legislation regulating gender accommodations across the country. The Human Rights Campaign called on the federal government to direct the Department of Education to conduct a full investigation into the teen’s death.

Nex’s family trace part of their roots to the Choctaw Nation, and were on a journey to understanding more about Nex’s identity - like many other parents of transgender and non-binary youth,” the group wrote in a Feb. 21 message. The Human Rights Campaign then claimed that Nex was “brutally and viciously beaten inside a bathroom at Owasso High School” and then “succumbed to sustained injuries and tragically died.”

“Nex’s death also comes at a time when extremist politicians have weaponized trans and gender-expansive identities for political gain, stoking hate and discrimination through their vile rhetoric,” the HRC wrote. “Already facing an onslaught of anti-LGBTQ+ state bills which have direct negative implications on their well-being — from educational bans on LGBTQ+ centric content to non-consensual forced outings — young LGBTQ+ folks, especially young trans and gender-expansive people, can potentially face harsh social and public environments largely influenced by a discourse that undermines their lives.”

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