Just days ago, Cleo shared that she and Christian broke up. Despite their mutual love, the long distance made things difficult.
Besides, the 90 Day Fiance: Before The 90 Days couple were just very different people. Love alone is not enough.
Now, Cleo is looking to move on with her life. Part of that means undergoing gender affirming medical treatments.
These can be prohibitively expensive. So, like numerous 90 Day Fiance cast members before her, she is asking fans for help.
“I started a transition Gofund me,” Cleo wrote on Instagram recently, including a link to her GoFundMe.
“I’m aware this means absolutely nothing in the great scheme of things, and the world,” she began very humbly. “And each and every one of you and your families, take absolute priority.”
Cleo continued: “That being said, this is something that holds the power to change my life for the better.”
“I want to just be able to move past this stage of my life that has dragged for the past 11 years,” she expressed.
“And move on with my life,” she went on, “and be helpful and dedicated to my communities.”
Cleo acknowledged: “My gender dysphoria causes me to devalue myself, which has a domino effect in the way I live my life, and especially on the boundaries in my interpersonal relationships.”
On Instagram, she writes: “I am tired of not feeling at ease with my body.”
She shared: “It is incredibly hard for me to value myself as an individual because of my gender dysphoria.”
Cleo also cited the expenses: “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.”
“I have decided that life is too short to be spent living in regret,” Cleo affirmed.
“I’ve explored every option available to me and tried tirelessly to afford transitioning for over a decade,” she wrote. “But the emotional and financial toll has become overwhelming.”
Cleo wrote: “Depression has set in, and I am struggling to envision a future where I can truly be myself.”
“Let’s make my dream of living authentically a reality,” Cleo implored her fans and followers.
“Your support means the world to me,” she expressed. “And will also help me bring attention to the struggles of the trans and neurodivergent communities.”
Thanking her donors in advance, Cleo concluded: “Thank you for being a part of this journey.”
In light of Cleo asking for help, there have been some varied responses.
Obviously, some people have already contributed funds. With only a couple dozen donors, she’s already up to nearly one-seventh of her goal.
But there are 90 Day Fiance fans who have questions.
Why doesn’t Cleo just use the money from the show?
For one thing, 90 Day Fiance infamously pays very little.
Even if pay has gone up from about $1,000 per couple per episode (which is nothing for their time spent filming or how much the show makes), Cleo likely only made enough for one season to buy a used car. If that.
When you factor in how much work people miss in order to not only travel and spend time with a loved one, but also film (plus the expense of rentals, flights, and more), some cast members don’t even break even.
And, for that matter, Cleo may be putting some of that money towards the surgery.
Online estimates put the price ofgender confirmation surgery in the UK in the tens of thousands of pounds.
Prices vary, but there’s basically no way that 90 Day alone could have paid her enough.
What about the NHS?
Simply put, the NHS is a victim of decades of funding cuts.
It’s not just that UK taxpayers are being robbed blind; predatory business interests are actively fueling the NHS’ decline in the hopes of creating a dystopian healthcare nightmare like we have in the United States.
While Cleo is likely eligible (even though she is Italian), the waiting lists are extensive. It is not uncommon for people to opt for private surgery to end the miserable wait.
Is it wrong to create a GoFundMe for bottom surgery?
Wait, sorry, I know that I should be doing a lengthy explanation for how crowdfunding is voluntary and how gender confirmation surgery can be life-changing and even life-saving.
That’s all true. But honestly, I feel like some of the people loudly questioning this on social media aren’t asking in good faith. (Some are asking in good faith, though, so they should know that the answer is “no.” GoFundMe even has a page discussing the costs of these procedures in different places)
Why does Cleo need surgery in the first place?
That’s kind of her business. (Actually, entirely her business, but if someone wants to donate, they might want to understand)
It’s true that not every trans person wants surgery, or wants bottom surgery. It’s not a perfect procedure, it’s expensive, and recovery is painful.
And plenty of trans folks wouldn’t permanently change their genitals if they had a genie who could do it instantly and with magic. The reasons are as personal as they can be.
In 2005, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson underwent a cisgender version of top surgery.
He had gynecomastia, and wanted to change the size of his chest. So he underwent a reduction. The results were very gender affirming.
Not every cis man would feel the need to do so. But he did. Not every trans woman seeks bottom surgery, but Cleo is. It is, again, an incredibly personal thing. But it’s also something with which Cleo could use a little help.