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White House Mourns Nex Benedict’s Death and Offers Support to LGBTQ+ Community

President Joe Biden Mourns Nonbinary Teen Who Died By Suicide, Calls for Change

The White House Offers Support to LGBTQ+ Students

President Joe Biden expressed his deep sorrow and extended his condolences on Thursday after the suicide of Nex Benedict, a nonbinary teenager from Oklahoma. The incident ignited widespread outrage and calls for change, prompting Biden to focus on the importance of creating safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ+ students. Nex Benedict passed away on February 8, one day after sustaining injuries during an altercation in an Owasso High School bathroom. The state medical examiner’s report confirmed on Wednesday that the teenager’s cause of death was suicide.

Highlighting the Need for Acceptance and Support

In a statement, President Biden emphasized the right for every young person to be able to be their authentic selves and feel secure and backed up in their schools and communities. He shed light on Nex Benedict’s tragic loss, lamenting that the teenager simply wanted acceptance and should still be alive today. Nex’s unfortunate death has brought to the forefront crucial questions surrounding bullying and the school district’s obligation to safeguard students from harassment. As someone who identified using multiple pronouns, Nex had previously experienced bullying due to their gender identity. Investigators are currently examining the circumstances of the bathroom fight, including the possibility of the incident being an act of gender-based violence.

Nex Benedict poses outside the family's home

The initial findings from the autopsy revealed that Nex’s cause of death was linked to a combination of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, and fluoxetine, an anti-depression medication. A comprehensive autopsy report is expected to be released in the near future, shedding more light on the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

A Call to End Discrimination and Promote Equality

Biden hailed nonbinary and transgender individuals as some of the most courageous Americans, underscoring that no one should have to demonstrate bravery just to be themselves. To honor Nex’s memory, the President called on everyone to intensify efforts to combat discrimination and address the alarming suicide crisis gripping nonbinary and transgender youth. The President condemned bullying as a hurtful and cruel act, expressing that no individual should have to endure the same hardships Nex experienced. A united front from parents and schools in taking bullying reports seriously was identified as an essential step forward.

Biden concluded his statement by offering prayers to Nex’s family, friends, and loved ones, while affirming his unwavering commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. He vowed to support LGBTQ+ young people across the nation, reassuring them that they are loved and accepted without reservation.

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