Eden reportedly died by suicide months after she was coerced into returning to Saudi Arabia from the US where she had been a student.
Eden had allegedly been separated from her support network, isolated, pressured to return to Saudi Arabia and then forced to detransition. The US government is investigating the involvement of a US company employed by her family in convincing her to return.
On March 12, Eden Knight, a 23-year-old trans woman, posted a note to social media detailing her intention to die by suicide after her parents repeatedly confiscated her hormone therapy treatment.
Her note went on to describe a lack of family support, uncertain legal status, and third-party manipulation that ultimately forced her to detransition and leave the U.S. for her family home in Saudi Arabia, a country known for its violent hostility towards LGBTQ people.
“I hope that the world gets better for us,” Eden wrote. “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.”
Not long after the note was published, posts from her family’s accounts on Twitter and Telegram stated that she had died. VICE News spoke with four of her friends to learn who Eden was and reviewed past messages between Eden and her friends to piece together what happened to her.
Eden’s story highlights the dire consequences associated with forcing a trans person to detransition, and the institutional failures that made it difficult for her to consistently access life-saving healthcare and a safe place to live. Her note, which is supported by the recollections of friends as well as private messages she sent, also described the involvement of private investigators who contract for the U.S. government in an effort to get her to return to her family.
“We have seen these reports and are studying these allegations,” a spokesperson for the State Department said in a statement.