Eden Knight, a Saudi trans woman living in America, says she was forced to detransition in a note she posted to Twitter shortly before her suicide on Sunday. The popular Twitter user, whose legal last name is Alshathri, had nearly 20,000 followers at the time of her death.
Alshathri tweeted her “last message” on Sunday, which read: “If you’re reading this, I’ve already killed myself.”
“I gave life every chance, I gave myself every chance to get better. But I couldn’t, I wasn’t strong enough,” Alshathri wrote. “I don’t think there was a universe where I was ever strong enough to survive that.”
A document on Alshathri’s life and death, created and released by friend Merrick Deville and others, explains that Alshathri made friends via Twitter while still in the closet and then came out as transgender during the COVID-19 pandemic has.
“She’s been a light in the trans community ever since. Everyone who talks about her mentions her humor and kindness,” the document reads. “She had an inner strength that we admire and know deserves recognition.”
The document also alleges that Alshathri was “tricked into financial support” and kidnapped by two American “fixers” and a Saudi lawyer, all of whom Alshathri mentions in her suicide note.
In her note, Alshathri wrote that she was forced into detransition by the Saudi lawyer she met on the pretext that he would help her repair her relationship with her parents, who are Muslims and live in Saudi Arabia . In a public statement, Alshathri’s former roommate, Bailee Daws, says the fixers claimed they were helping Alshathri “achieve immigrant status.”
According to the statement, Alshathri, under the custody of the lawyer, wrote that she regretted being trans and then returned to Saudi Arabia to live with her family. The family informed Alshathri that they hired the lawyer and fixers that Alshathri is in contact with.
“I was scolded for being a freak when my mother found my private photos, my father called me a failure and an abomination,” Alshathri wrote in her suicide note about her experience of moving back in with her family. “I didn’t want to live if I couldn’t switch … I’m done fighting.”
According to interviews the Daily Dot conducted with friends Deville and Daws, Alshathri was a student at George Mason University. A university publication identifying Alshathri as her surname states that Alshathri was born in Saudi Arabia and moved to Virginia as a tween. She then returned to Saudi Arabia until she moved back to the US to study at university.
Daws said Alshathri’s death was confirmed by her family Twitter accountwhich is now private.
Shortly after Alshathri’s “final message” was released, friends and the trans community in general expressed great sadness at her passing.
“Transphobic Muslims have blood on their hands”, @al1yahal1, a transgender Muslim, tweeted next to a photo of Alshathri. “How many of us have to die for trans people to have compassion?”
“Eden is gone,” trans comedian Nori Reed (@realnorireed) tweeted. “Forced detransition is a death sentence.”
“Edenknight. Cashay Henderson. Brianna Ghey, trans writer Jaclyn Moore (@jaclynpmoore) tweeted. “Too many girls are being taken away from us.” Ghey and Henderson are trans women who were recently killed in Warrington, England, and Milwaukee, respectively.
In her Twitter statement, Alshathri wrote to the trans community and spoke about her hopes and dreams for trans liberation.
“I wanted to be a leader for people like me, but it wasn’t written that way. I hope that the world will get better for us. I hope our people grow old. I hope we will see our children grow up to fight for us,” Alshathri wrote. “I hope for trans rights worldwide.”
For more information about suicide prevention or to speak to someone privately, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US) or Samaritans (UK).
If you need to speak to counselors experienced in dealing with transgender issues, contact Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860 (US) or (877) 330-6366 (Canada).
We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the web delivered to your inbox every day.
*Initial publication: March 14, 2023 5:39 pm CDT
Tricia Crimmins is the IRL Editor at the Daily Dot. She is also a New York-based comedian and an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has previously written for Mashable, Complex Networks and Moment magazine. She can be found on Twitter at @TriciaCrimmins.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/eden-knight-detransition-death/ Eden Knight says she was forced into a detransition in Suicide Note