Transgender teenager Nex Benedict died by suicide, autopsy reveals

Nex Benedict had reportedly been bullied since 2023, and died the day after being involved in a physical altercation at school.

An image of Nex Benedict, whose autopsy report has been released. The teenage is photographed from the chest up, smiling and wearing a white shirt and dark grey waistcoat.
Image: @IAMn0tthe1 via X

Content warning: Mentions of suicide and bullying

A new partial autopsy report released on Wednesday, March 13, has disclosed that transgender teenager Nex Benedict died by suicide. The 16-year-old passed away on February 8, a day after being involved in a physical altercation in the girls’ bathroom of their Oklahoma school.

According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Nex died from the toxicity of combining an antihistamine and anti-depressant. 

The teenager, who was of Choctaw heritage, had reportedly been bullied since 2023, the same year that Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt passed a law banning trans students from using the school bathroom that matches their gender identity.

On February 7, they were allegedly assaulted by three older female students in the girls’ bathroom of Owasso High School, suffering head injuries which were examined at the Bailey Medical Center in Tulsa County. There, they spoke to a police school resource officer before being discharged. 

The following day, Nex collapsed in their living room and was rushed back to hospital where they were declared dead.

In response to the autopsy report, US President Joe Biden issued a statement expressing that he is “heartbroken” by the 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,” Biden wrote.

“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,” he added.


Elsewhere, members of the local LGBTQ+ and indigenous communities have also been speaking out in the wake of Nex Benedict’s autopsy report. Miranda Searcy, a former Tulsa Resident who describes herself as a queer native of The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma said, “This is a death by bullying and was caused by the regime in place in our government locally, Ryan Walters and Governor Stitt.”

Similarly, Olivia Gray, a citizen of the Osage Nation and the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Northeast Oklahoma Indigenous Safety and Education Foundation (NOISE) expressed, “Owasso needs to understand that the bullying has got to stop…This kid may not have been on depression medication, but for that bullying. Even if it was suicide, it probably wouldn’t have happened without the bullying.”

Many also called on the three girls involved in the physical altercation, and the school, to be held accountable. 

Human Rights Campaign president Kelley Robinson, said “As parents, we send our kids to school expecting that they will be safe and cared for. Nex was failed by so many and should still be here today.”

Robinson added, “This is heartbreaking. And we have heard from so many parents and students that this culture of bullying and harassment is both pervasive at Owasso Public Schools and that many within the school had actual knowledge that it was occurring and took no steps to fix it.”


“This is not an isolated incident by any means,” Brandoon Dilawari, case manager at Rainbow Youth Project USA commented, while the organisation’s Executive Director Lance Preston stressed, “It is crucial for schools to recognize the profound impact of bullying.”

If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for support, advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.

National LGBT+ Helpline
The Switchboard
Dublin Lesbian Line
Belong To
Pieta House
Mental Health Ireland
Garda Confidential Line

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