Dear Friends and Supporters,
My name is Cleo, and you might have seen me on TV. I am an autistic and mentally ill trans woman. :) This past September marked my 33rd birthday, and I'm reaching out to you today with a heartfelt plea for help to fulfil a dream that has been 30 years in the making: my medical transition.
Eleven years ago, I took the courageous step of presenting as a woman and updating my gender marker, but I've faced significant barriers in accessing the medical procedures necessary for a complete and fulfilling transition. I am extremely proud of myself for following my dreams and for how far I have come; transitioning was 100% the best choice for me and the only way I could have survived, but I would be lying if I said that my journey is complete.
It is incredibly hard for me to value myself as an individual and especially in relationships because of my gender dysphoria.
The cost of gender affirming surgeries, endocrinologist visits to enhance my hormone replacement therapy, voice therapy and laser hair removal has been financially out of reach for me, taking a toll on my mental health and overall well-being.
Medical transitioning is undeniably expensive, and the misconceptions surrounding it often lead people to believe that those who need it can simply "put more effort" into their appearance. This couldn't be further from the truth. The reality is that many individuals, including myself, face insurmountable financial hurdles on the path to becoming our true selves.
Despite my appearance on TV, making ends meet has been a struggle. My mental health conditions and disabilities, including my gender dysphoria, autism, ADHD, and PTSD, have make it hard for me to hold down a traditional job. I've made numerous attempts, but I always end up in performance reviews and eventually lose employment. Even my work as a model, which initially helped me a little, has dried up a bit due to huge competition at the moment.
I was raised by a working class single mother who worked tirelessly as a schoolteacher and events planner and is now retired, she is of course unable to provide the financial support I need for my transition. Despite my efforts to monetize myself, I've been so far unsuccessful in securing brand sponsorships or a sustainable income. The challenges I've faced have been compounded by some discrimination in various employment sectors due to my disabilities. It's been an uphill battle to secure meaningful work that accommodates my unique needs and allows me to feel comfortable in my body.
My dream is simple: to move forward with my life and live authentically as the woman I know I am meant to be! But this dream feels out of reach without the financial means to undergo gender confirmation procedures.
I've explored every option available to me and tried tirelessly to afford transitioning for over a decade, but the emotional and financial toll has become overwhelming. Depression has set in, and I am struggling to envision a future where I can truly be myself. This has a huge effect on my interpersonal relationships. I yearn to complete my transition and then pursue a career as a motivational coach, social worker or counselor to empower marginalized communities and specifically mentally ill LGBTQA+ individuals.
I've spent the last 12 years fighting for my identity, and I'm now at a crossroads. I found myself considering giving up on my dream of being the woman I know I am, and just quitting my transition, but I don’t want to give up quite yet! This donations will allow me to start booking consultations with surgeons, endocrinologists and trans health care specialists, cover the costs of traveling and accommodations for surgeries. Lastly, I will document my entire medical transition on my Instagram, Tiktok and also in a 2 parts movie I aim to upload on YouTube, so that you all can be up to date with my transition and get to see the results. I would also like to document the experience in a book.
I kindly ask you to consider supporting my journey to gender affirmation. Your donation, no matter how small, can be life-changing for me. If you're unable to contribute financially, please share my story as widely as possible. With your help, I can hopefully finally experience what it's like to live life as my true self.
Thank you for your compassion, understanding, and support on this deeply personal journey, I appreciate each and every one of you so much! Together, we can make a significant difference in my life and empower me to live authentically and inspire others to do the same.
With heartfelt gratitude,