CW// Detransition, suicide.
This week, you’re going to hear a lot about the story of Eden Knight, a young trans girl who committed suicide rather than undergo forced detransition.
Here is Eden’s story, as detailed in her suicide note.
Over the summer, Eden Knight, a student living in Georgia, was contacted by a agents from private intelligence firm. These agents had been hired by Knight’s parents in Saudi Arabia to bring their daughter back to the country to undergo forcible detransition.
Michael Pocalyko is also associated with the Heritage Foundation, a Christian conservative anti-LGBTQ+ organization concerned with “promoting conservative values” through support for conversion therapy and other anti-gay measures.
Knight’s parents are conservative and did not support her trans identity. When Pocalyko reached out to Knight, it was, he claimed, to help her “fix” her relationship with her parents. Pocalyko and his associate stressed that they were worried for Knight’s safety.
“Over the next couple of months, I had called Michael Pocalyko and his associate Ellen, these calls seemed innocuous and honestly pretty helpful,” Knight wrote in her final statement. “It was mainly questions about my safety and whether I had my needs met at the place I was staying at.”
Knight was struggling in Georgia, and accepted an offer from Pocalyko and Cole, along with a lawyer named Bader, to move to DC into an apartment paid for by Bader.
But the move came at a price. According to Knight, Bader “tried to get me to be “normal.” Gave me examples of feminine men and said that they are transgender but they are hiding it, that it’s better to hide it. Told me stories personally about people he knew that successfully hid it. Repeated constantly that I can just hold 2 lives, the female me and the male me. Constantly said I looked like a man, always talked down on my appearance. Bought me masculine clothing and tried to throw away ALL of my feminine clothing. At every step of the way, he tried to detransition me.” I had a breakdown over this and bombarded Michael Pocalyko and Ellen with texts about what was happening, they did not respond.”
Knight became dependent on Bader for financial support. She was put through excruciating conversation therapy tactics. “I did everything he asked,” Knight explained. “I cut my hair, I stopped taking estrogen, I changed my wardrobe, I met my dad. And then I had another breakdown. My mom kept telling me to repent or I was going to hell, and I did, I repented. I believed I was going to hell so much that I read the entire Quran front to back in a couple of days, crying the entire fucking time about what a disgusting thing I am, and I didn’t sleep. I repented, and I was broken. Bader then booked a flight back to Saudi, and I came back.”
Once she returned to Saudi Arabia, the abuse continued. “After the first time they found my HRT, it was traumatizing, but I didn’t want to stop. I didn’t want to live if I couldn’t transition,” Knight wrote. “Then the second time came. After that, I took a month break off of HRT, and got back on it. They have found my HRT again, and I am done fighting.”
Knight posted her suicide note Sunday morning. This morning, several sources, including Knight’s partner, confirmed that Knight had committed suicide.
The trans community is devastated by the loss of Eden Knight.
Eden deserved to live out her full life as the woman she was. Instead, she was hunted and bullied by the family that claimed to care about her.
No one should have to choose between detransition and death. But for many of us, that’s no choice at all. As trans people, we fight to be ourselves with everything we’ve got in us. We won’t stop fighting.