Biden Slammed for ‘Exploiting’ Nonbinary Teen Nex Benedict’s Death

( – On Thursday March 14, the White House released a formal statement from President Biden mourning the death of a 16-year-old student in Oklahoma who identified as nonbinary. A self-identification of nonbinary is when a person believes they have a gender identity that is neither male nor female.

This is not related to physical intersex conditions. Some consider it a variation of being transgender, and they may seek hormonal or surgical treatments to make their bodies more androgynous. It is unknown if the teenager, Dagny (or, “Nex”) Benedict, was being treated medically or psychologically for any gender-related condition.

The lightning speed of the modern news cycle often leads to confusion as early reports are often wrong or are missing context. In the case of Benedict, an altercation with other students the day before fueled internet outrage with many calling it a deadly hate crime against an LGBTQ+ youth, although there is evidence Benedict was the instigator in this instance. Benedict was checked by medical professionals at the hospital after the fight and released. Since the original story broke, the state medical examiner’s office has ruled the death a suicide by means of overdosing on Prozac and Benadryl.

While more details often lead to acceptance and understanding, many are still saying the teen’s death is a hate crime as they believe it was caused by bullying and intolerance. Biden’s statement supports that narrative, saying that nonbinary and transgender people are experiencing a suicide crisis due to discrimination. However, there is a high correlation with gender dysphoria and other mental health conditions. One criticism of the affirmation model for gender confusion, particularly in minors, is that other psychiatric problems are often ignored, and causal connections are missed in the rush to be seen as supportive.

Oklahoma Superintendent Ryan Walters pushed back against the White House statement, accusing President Biden and Vice President Harris of “playing politics”, supporting lies, and exploiting Benedict’s death. LGBTQ+ advocates have been calling for Walters’ resignation as he has expressed disbelief in gender identity and does not support schools affirming students gender identities without parental knowledge or consent.

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