Biden calls for end to discrimination after 'nonbinary' Nex Benedict's death ruled suicide

'Nonbinary and transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know'

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Joe Biden issued an extensive statement Thursday calling for an end to discrimination following an autopsy report that found self-identified nonbinary 16-year-old Nex Benedict died by suicide.

Benedict, a biologically female student at Owasso High School in Owasso, Oklahoma, made headlines last month after the White House and Republican Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt joined LGBT groups in drawing attention to her death on Feb. 8, which occurred a day after she claimed to have fought with three girls in the school bathroom.

"Nex Benedict, a kid who just wanted to be accepted, should still be here with us today," Biden said in his statement. "Nonbinary and transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know. But nobody should have to be brave just to be themselves."

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

Biden, who noted that first lady Jill Biden was also "heartbroken" by Benedict's death, went on to say that in her memory, Americans should work to 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," he said.

On Feb. 8, Benedict's grandmother Sue, who served as her legal guardian, called 911 reporting a head injury. In a police video at the hospital that was later released, Benedict claimed that she poured water on three girls in the bathroom after they made fun of her for the way she dressed.

The next day, Benedict was rushed to the hospital, where she died.

The Education Department subsequently announced on March 1 that it was investigating the school district for allegedly failing to respond to "sex-based harassment."

An autopsy report released Wednesday by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office found that Benedict died by suicide via a toxic level of pharmaceutical drugs.

"From the beginning of this investigation, Owasso Police observed many indications that this death was the result of suicide,” Owasso Police Department Lt. Nick Boatman said. “However, investigators did not wish to confirm that information without the final results being presented by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office."

Hundreds marched at the Oklahoma state Capitol in Oklahoma City on Thursday in Benedict's honor, according to local ABC affiliate KOCO News.

Oklahoma is among the states that prohibit trans procedures for minors and bans students from using bathrooms that don't align with their biological sex.

Some politicians used Benedict's situation as a springboard to suggest that state laws segregating school bathrooms according to biological sex led to her death.

"Nex Benedict’s death from a brutal assault in their high school bathroom is outrageous and heartbreaking," former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted. "The anti-trans fervor fueled by extreme Republicans across the country is having deadly consequences for our children. We must stand up against anti-trans hate."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also weighed in.

"The killing of Nex Benedict is gut-wrenching and underscores the danger of extremists who are dehumanizing kids with anti-trans hate in Oklahoma and across the country," Warren tweeted. "Every student should feel safe at school and supported for who they are. Nex deserves justice."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles