Content warning: contains mentions of suicide and transphobia.
Saudi Arabian LGBTQ+ activists have organised a protest in Dublin to demand justice for trans woman Eden Knight, who died by suicide after allegedly being forced to ‘de-transition’ by her family. Participants will gather outside the Saudi embassy in Dublin on March 24 at 1pm, demanding justice and raising awareness of how the nation has shown on multiple occasions that they are willing to invest resources to neutralise dissidents even abroad.
23-year-old Eden Knight had been living in the US until last year after emigrating from Saudi Arabia, and there, she was able to live openly as a trans woman.
However, multiple reports confirmed her death on March 13, following the scheduled posting of an essay on her social media titled ‘Final message’.
In the piece, Eden explained how she was manipulated by so-called ‘fixers’ hired by her family, who coerced her into ‘de-transitioning’ and brought her back to Saudi Arabia. After living at home with her family for a period, she then said that she was “tired” and was finished fighting, before she reportedly died by suicide.
LGBTQ+ rights are not recognised in Saudi Arabia, which has been dubbed one of the most dangerous countries in the world for queer people. Under Sharia law, same-sex activity is illegal in the country and punishable with life imprisonment or even death. Being LGBTQ+ is seen as “immoral” and the community faces constant violence and discrimination.
The Saudi LGBTQ+ community said they are “outraged and frustrated that they cannot feel safe even outside their country as immigrants and refugees”. For this reason, they organise protests and movements in front of embassies worldwide to alert the international community of the situation that Saudi queer people face.
One such movement was #SuhailPride, which started after local authorities trafficked and arrested 23-year-old gay man Suhail al-Jameel for posting a picture of himself wearing shorts at a beach in the US.
Trans and Intersex Pride Dublin is also organising another protest to demand justice for Brianna Ghey and Eden Knight and to mourn all those affected by transphobic violence in recent years. The demonstration will take place at the Dáil on Trans Day of Visibility, March 31, at 6pm.
If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
Mental Health Ireland
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