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Nonbinary teen's death was ruled a suicide. Arizona advocate says it's murder

The death of a nonbinary high school student has been ruled a suicide by the Oklahoma medical examiner's office. Nex Benedict, 16, died of an overdose after a fight with several girls in a school restroom last month, officials said. 

Benedict’s family says they were a target of bullying.

"I feel personally, this is my personal interpretation of it, is that regardless of the official cause of death, this is murder," said Nate Rhoton, CEO of One-n-Ten, an LGBTQ-youth advocacy group in Phoenix. "This is a situation where a young person was bullied to the point where they felt like they had no other options."

Rhoton worries that because the LGBTQ+ movement has been politicized, some individuals feel safe bullying others because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

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Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.