The Ugly Politicization of a “Nonbinary” Child’s Death

The tragedy is being weaponized to condemn conservatives, with or without evidence.

What’s happening: The death of a 16-year-old girl who identified as “nonbinary” has garnered national attention.

  • Catch up: Oklahoma high schooler Nex Benedict was allegedly beaten by three girls in a school bathroom last month. Benedict’s mother claims her daughter was bullied for months for her stated gender identity.

  • Biden’s role: The Education Department promised to investigate her school’s treatment of students, and President Joe Biden released a statement to “LGBTQI+ Americans” saying “no one should face the bullying that Nex did.”

What we know: After Benedict was allegedly beaten, footage shows Benedict in a nurse’s office telling a police officer she never knew the girls’ names. They had recently teased her and her friends for “the way that we dress” and made fun of their laughter in the bathroom before the fight started, she said.

  • To note: At no point does Benedict clearly mention gender identity in the 20-minute footage. Plus, she never acted as if she was singled out for the alleged bullying.

  • Also, a state medical examiner said Benedict had died the next day via a drug overdose, not physical trauma, ruling the death a suicide.

Why it matters: Journalists, activists, and politicians are using Benedict’s story to advocate against Republicans, claiming GOP policies and conservative commentators are to blame for her death by driving anti-LGBT sentiment.

  • But, there isn’t any evidence that Benedict was attacked for her gender identity beyond her mother’s claims, and the media’s claims of death by physical trauma quickly fell apart after it was ruled a drug overdose.