90 Day Fiancé star Cleo considered “giving up her dream of becoming a woman” as she shared a GoFundMe page to assist with the financial cost of her expensive 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,” Cleo, 33, wrote in the description of the fundraiser shared on Instagram on Tuesday, October 31. “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.”
The 90 Day Fiancé alum detailed medical expenses which included “gender-affirming surgeries, endocrinologist visits to enhance hormone replacement therapy, voice therapy and laser hair removal,” noting that the procedures had been “financially out of reach” and now taking a toll on her “mental health and overall well-being.”
“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,” the TLC personality continued. “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!”
Cleo made her reality TV debut on season 6 of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days in June, alongside then-boyfriend Christian. The pair, who met online one year prior to the show, started out as a friendship; however, it quickly progressed romantically.
The couple faced issues even prior to their first in-person meeting as Christian had a history of dating cisgender women. Cleo, a transgender woman, dealt with negativity from Christian’s closest circle as they questioned her identity and went as far as to ask Christian if Cleo had gender confirmation surgery.
While the pair were still together by the season 6 tell-all, which aired on September 24 and October 1, Cleo confirmed her split from Christian on October 25.
“Christian and I are no longer together as we could not deal with the complexities of a long-distance relationship while on such a public scale,” the runway model wrote in a lengthy statement on Instagram, asking fans to respect their privacy. “Please understand I love him and will always love him, I don’t regret the fact he came into my life, I was hoping we could be a happily ever after, but we have very different personalities and emotional needs.”