Eden Knight: Saudi trans woman dies by suicide after being ‘forced to de-transition’

A picture of Eden Knight

Trans woman Eden Knight took her own life after allegedly being forced to de-transition by members of her family.

Reports of Knight’s death were confirmed online by family members after she posted an essay, entitled “Final message”, on her social media.

Her body was reportedly found by her family, who referred to the death of a “young man”, on Monday (13 March).

Knight, 23, who lived in the US until last year, said in a Twitter post on Monday – seemingly scheduled in advance – that she had killed herself after being pressured into returning to Saudi Arabia, then denied access to her hormone medication.

The post alleged that her parents hired American “fixers” and a Saudi lawyer to take her back to the Middle East kingdom, where trans people face severe discrimination.

The Georgia student claimed in the emotional post that she was forcibly coerced into de-transitioning.

You may like to watch

According to her message, she was contacted by the “fixers” in the summer of 2022 to discuss the divide between her and her conservative Muslim parents.

At the time, she had been living with her friend, Bailee Daws, after moving to the US to study. She had come out as trans during the COVID-19 lockdown.

After talking to the “fixers” online, Eden moved to temporary housing in Washington DC, alleging that she was coerced into de-transitioning with the promise of shelter and food.

Eden alleged that agents showed her examples of “feminine men”, claiming they were hiding the desire to transition and it was somehow better this way.

Additionally, she claimed they constantly berated her while saying that she “looked like a man”, which she said caused her to have a mental breakdown.

Feeling the pressure, Eden Knight wrote that the only option was to de-transition and return home.

“I did everything [they] asked. I cut my hair, I stopped taking oestrogen, I changed my wardrobe,” she wrote.

According to her message, she was then put through routine searches of her belongings while living at home to see if she had hidden stashes of feminising hormones.

After her HRT was found for a third time, she said she had become “tired” and was finished fighting.

“I wanted to be a leader for people like me, but that wasn’t written to happen,” she added. “I hope that the world gets better for us. I hope our people get old.

“I hope we get to see our kids grow up to fight for us. I hope for trans rights worldwide.”

Friends share their memories of Eden Knight

Since Eden Knight’s death, friends and well-wishers have shared their thoughts on the circumstances that are said to have led to her death.

Activist Erin Reed wrote that Eden “had a huge impact on me”, adding that the circumstances surrounding her death “must be investigated”.

Reed wrote: “I am furious over Eden’s death and those responsible need to be held accountable.

In a blog post following the news, Reed added that, if the allegations are true, then her death “represents a serious atrocity committed [against] a transgender woman by people who are allowed to operate within the United States”.

She went on: “Eden’s words show the pain of many transgender people who are forced into circumstances similar to her.

“Eden, we’ll do our best to make that world real for you and the countless others we lost along the way.”

Eden Knight’s friend, Bailee Daws, told The Independent that Eden was “a light” and would be sorely missed.

“I would give anything to bring her back. Honestly, I really would. Because I loved her – we all did.”

Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). ​Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.

Please login or register to comment on this story.